Friday, May 6, 2011

Andi's Indian Summer (Circle C Beginnings) - A New TOS Review!

Reading is something that not only do we love to do as a family, but Arianna LOVES to do too.  She has been reading since she was very young and she loves reading new stories.  The problem is we are very selective in our reading choices and many books, I'd prefer to read first to make sure the content is proper.

The Product:
That is why when I found out that we would be reviewing a book from Susan K. Marlow's Circle C Beginnings, I couldn't wait to tell Ari.  As soon as I told her she wanted to learn more about the book and not wait until it arrived.  So we headed on over to Kregel Publications and found out that the series revolves around a young Andi Carter who is growing up in the Wild West during the 1870's.  Ari could not wait until her book arrived.  They also have the original series Circle C Adventures with an older Andi for your 9-14 year old readers.
The day it did arrive, I let her open the package.  Once opened, she found Andi's Indian Summer, the second book in a series of four (but soon to be 6), which she started to read right away.  These books are created for the 6-8 year old range and about a 2nd grade reading level.  The book is only 75 pages long and broken into ten chapters.  Right before the story starts is a page of new words that your child will encounter during the story.  At the end of the book is a short entry called "A Peek Into the Past" which helps cement the book into the reality of the times in which it was written.

I don't want to spoil the story for you too much, but let me tell you this.  Andi lets her imagination run a little wild after her friend Riley reads her a dime novel based on Indians.  They then get lost and are scared when they meet Indians in real life.
The other three books in the series are (1)Andi's Pony Trouble, (3) Andi's Fair Surprise, and (4) Andi's Scary School Days.  They plan on releasing two more in the fall.

Arianna can't wait until we are able to read them ALL.  Each book is only $4.99 (plus $2 shipping & handling), but there are other bundles or combinations which greatly reduce the price.  You could buy Book 1 and Book 2 together or Book 3 & Book 4 together both of which would only be $9.98 and $2 shipping & handling.  Or you could purchase all 4 books at once for just $9.98 plus $3 shipping & handling.  And if you order directly from Kregel between now and August 31st you can save an additional 30% using the code HOME11!  (And you know how I love a savings!)  And the books can even be personalized.

Now most authors and publishers would stop there.  But not Mrs. Marlow and Kregel Publications.  They have created a website especially for Andi and Taffy.  Here you will find coloring pages that can be downloaded and printed for enjoyment during the reading (for little ones) or for later.  These coloring pages are blown up versions of the beautiful illustrations throughout the book.  Both my girls have enjoyed coloring them and I think these are some of the best colored pictures I have seen them do.  (Ari's favorite is the picture with Andi's drink spilling.)
You will also find at the Andi and Taffy website a free pdf activity book.  This activity book included some matching questions, map work, a missing letters puzzle, a dot-to-dot, historical information on the Yokut Indians (who were the tribe of Indians in the book), and some other activities.  My girls really love crafts so they were happy to see an activity that went along with the book. I also recently found that they have Lapbooks to coordinate with the books.  I can't wait to do some of them ... which I'm sure we will be doing soon. (And they can be purchased in conjunction with a book for just a few more dollars.)  There's even some online puzzles.  They have truly thought of everything and they are highly educational while still being fun and engaging.

Our Experience:
We LOVED it.  Arianna had the book read in about a week.  It would have taken her less time, if I hadn't put a maximum chapter limit.  She didn't want to stop reading.  At the end of each chapter she colored the pictures that went with that chapter.  They look beautiful and she really took her time.  Here's a picture tha Audrie colored. 

Arianna also enjoyed all the activities.  You can see below the first pages of the activity book that she completed.  She is planning on reading the book to her sister so that Audrie can hear the complete story and then Audrie will be finishing her coloring pages.  Some of the activity pages she can not do just yet, but I'm sure once she gets a little older she will love them too.
My Thoughts:
I love this series of books.  I can not wait until I can get my hands on the rest.  I've really enjoyed the teaching aspect of them (with the coloring pages and activity books) and that they take a historical time period and cultures and bring them to life for a younger reading audience.

You can check out this adorable trailer that introduces you to Andi and her adventures.

You can also read what my Crewmates thought about this product by visiting the TOS Crew page for this and other books in the Circle C Beginnings series.
*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***


Andi Carter said...

Hi Kelly,
I just wanted to drop by and say THANKS for the wonderful review for Indian Summer. I'm so glad Ari enjoyed the book and the activities. I'd love to post her coloring page on my FB page if you would give permission some time.

Anonymous said...

This series looks awesome! Looking forward to when we get to it.

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