Thursday, May 3, 2018

Weigl Publishers ~ A New TOS Review!

I'm always on the lookout for new books! But how many books do you have that are also media enhanced? Me too ... not many, until this review where we got three such books by Weigl Publishers --

  • There Once was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant -- This book is created for young learners in K - 2 and is a tale of fiction.
  • A Lion's World -- From the "EyeDiscover" series and made for K - 2 age range.
  • Glaciers -- This is from a series called 'Earth's Waters' published under the imprint Lightbox and created for grades 3 - 6.
There is a whole catalog you can peruse to see all the choices of books both fiction and non-fiction that are available through their three multimedia, enhanced platforms. We are looking forward to is one on Niagara Falls and some from the 'Animals on the Brink' series. They even have chapter books and ones in Spanish and Arabic.

When you first get the book you get a code to enter to access all the 'extras'. I took notes as my children viewed and read each of the books so that I would remember all the details.

There Once was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant:
Seanan - It was cool to have different voices and they were not computerized. The yellow highlighting helped me stay on the same sentence.
Audrie - Moral of the story is to never swallow an ant. I thought it was funny and I think little kids would like it. It reminded me of another story we used to read. Even though it was highlighted, I think if you had only one word at a time it would be easier for children especially if they don't know how to read it yet.
Arianna - Because of the feature you can have it read to you and even though it looks like a book the computer automatically turns the pages for you.  It can either be read to you OR you can read it yourself which is a nice.
Me -- This one was really a fun and entertaining book. With the "read" feature you could set it up and have a few minutes where you could start a load of laundry or load the dishes, but still have your younger student engaged. The yellow highlighting could help young early readers follow along with the book, but not under the pressure to read all the words. It also has repetition which builds with each additional thing that the cowpoke (which is a variation of a cowboy) swallows to get rid of the stinging ant in his stomach. This is based on a similar story and my children instantly recognized the similarities, but were surprised with the twist ending and how unlikely it would be to be able to swallow yourself!

A Lion's World:
Seanan - I love lions and want to pet one. This book had sounds of a real lion that you could hear after the lady read the book pages.
Audrie - It told interesting facts about a lion. It fits the ages that was recommended ... like little kids from preschool through 1st or 2nd grade.
Arianna - It was very informative for how simple it was with only one sentence per 'page'. Some of the lions reminded me of a lion movie I watched when I was little. I liked how the pictures moved behind the words on the page and the added sounds made it 'come alive'.

Me -- The realistic pictures that both move and have sound were able beautifully capture this majestic animal (BIG cats are my ultimate favorite animal!) The simple facts were written on the bottom of the page and read slowly by a human voice. I think it is important that the voice reading is easy to understand and this was certainly the case. This book had such simple sentences that my son (3rd grader, but a late reader) could read it on his own, although he enjoyed just having the book be read by someone else.

Seanan - I think this book is definitely for older kids. The cool videos that were included were fun and interesting to watch. I did not like the robot voice. That made it sound weird.

Screenshot from the video of a glacier calving.
Audrie - This book would be good to use if I was writing a paper or essay on glaciers. It has lots of information. The videos are a neat addition to the book ... that's something you can't have happen in a book you hold in your hands. I did not like the voice who read the book ... it was a robot. The quizzes and word keys were fun to complete. The fill in the blank activity pages were interesting because you could test your knowledge as you went through the book.
Quiz Review
Part of the Key Word Quiz

Arianna - I liked that the book was interactive. It reminded me of a unit study.  I did not like the robot voice that read the book. Instead we read it ourselves. The videos were informative and interesting. I liked that the quiz had pictures to go along with it ... like a slideshow. The fill in the blank pages gave more variety rather then having more quizzes. I think this was geared more for middle school learners, not really elementary students.
Fill in the blank activity sheet.

 Me -- The age range for this (8 - 12) was certainly on track, although I think it is better off for the older in that range. My son was quickly sidetracked, although he did enjoy the enhancements, especially the mini videos. This reminded me of a unit study, where you could use this book all week long and really delve deep into the topic of Glaciers.
Using ChromeCast we were able to put the books up on the TV screen.
This is them answering questions from the quiz review.
This did however lean on an evolutionist mindset, which my children were quick to dispute when they heard "millions of years". My children know the TRUTH so books or stories that mention these types of ideas don't bother them, but I did want to mention it. AS my children mentioned above there were fill in the blanks, quizzes, and short videos, but also included links to other websites for more in depth info, slideshows of a variety of different types of glaciers (there are 2 main categories and at least 6 'types' -- did you know that?), and even a world map where you could see where the glaciers are across the world. And facts like glaciers hold 69% of the world's fresh water in them were fun tidbit that I even learned.

There are tons of titles to choose from both non-fiction and fiction and would be a fun way to break up your studies, or dig deeper on a subject or two, or even use over the summer for a change of pace.
If you want to learn more about how others on the Crew used Weigl Publishers, be sure to click the link below.

Multimedia Digital Books {Weigl Publishers Reviews}

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