Thursday, October 8, 2009

Guardian Angel Publishing, A TOS Crew Review

Guardian Angel Publishing sent me five e-books in pdf download format so that I could use them and review them for my blog readers. I light of recent FTC changes that are coming, I want to make perfectly clear -- Guarding Angel Publishing provided me these books free to test and use in order to write this review.

They sent me quite a variety, which served as an introduction to a company with which I was not familiar.

Guardian Angel Publishing's web site provides a summary of what the company does:

"Where our publishing goals are to lovingly create fun, affordable and educational eBook computer experiences, great print books for your preschoolers and primary age children. And to embed positive, loving and worthwhile meaning into these books. Education and Learning are our goals! "

Books are geared for infants through children 12 years old -- and Guardian Angel Publishing sells chapter books for tweens and teens, although we did not review any books for that age group.


Andy & Spirit Go To The Fair by Mary Jean Kelso, illustrated by K.C. Snider, is a 24 page (page count includes front and back covers) e-book available as a pdf download for $5. CD and book versions are available at additional cost. The link will take you to a page where readers may look inside the book.

I like the Andy & Spirit series because it encompasses disabilities, inclusion, bullies, dealing with anxiety, and meeting a challenge.

Andy happens to be in a wheelchair. We don't have to be in a wheelchair to relate to this line from the story: "Sometimes a task that most kids would take in their stride seemed overwhelming to Andy. Getting his body to cooperate with his mind could sometimes be a problem."

Additionally, a child in a wheelchair has an obvious difference, and yet is so much MORE LIKE the rest of us than different. Sometimes, we run into people who don't understand the differences; sometimes we encounter a bully, and Andy and Spirit encounter one in this story. (Spirit has something different, too. I do wish the author hadn't use the term "something wrong" when referring to this difference.)

It's a story nicely done, maybe a little too wordy for my homeschooler from a developmental standpoint, with lots of new vocabulary words for us. I think a lot of readers will identify with Andy. A feature that I think is really neat is the clickable links at the end of the story that take readers to more information about 4-H and wild horses.


EARTHQUAKE!, written by Susan J Berge, illustrated by Eugene Rubel, is also priced at $5.00 for the pdf download. It's 30 pages from cover to cover. Suggested audience is 6-9 year olds.

This one's really interesting to me. I grew up on the New Madrid Fault and lived for a while on the San Andreas Fault (and I experienced the 1994 Northridge Quake in person). I remember when we moved to California, someone told us to make sure we always slept with shoes beside the bed, in case there was an earthquake while we slept, so that we could protect our feet if we had to get out of bed and walk through broken glass.

This book for early-elementary age children explains the layers of the earth, tells about plates, which leads to an explanation about why earthquakes occur. The book includes earthquake terms, factoids, an experiement, and preparation and safety information for both parents and children. Readers get a lesson on what the numbers on the Mercalli and Richter scales mean.

I think the preparedness info is scary and necessary -- and it's presented in a kid friendly format. If you've never talked to your children about earthquake preparedness, about what to do in the event of an earthquake, particularly if you are separated at the time of a quake, this book is a resource for helping you do that at a kid-friendly level.


Stubby's Destiny, written by Dixie Phillips and illustrated by Kim Sponaugle is an award winning book for children, 22 pages long (including front and back cover) in e-book format, priced at $5, with a CD version and a print version available for around $10 + shipping, and a DVD in the works.

Stubby is an orphaned donkey with low self esteem who compares himself to something he's not, the stallions. This Easter story has Stubby carrying the King Jesus into town at the beginning of Passover (although "Easter" and "Jesus" and "Passover" are not mentioned in the story). The pictures are delightful; the words and story are simple -- definitely something for a young reader.


The Sum of Our Parts: No Bones About it is a 30 page (including front and back cover) e-book priced at $5.00 for the pdf download. I think the cover is a little spooky looking.

I homeschool a child whose anxiety grows higher in proportion to more words and text on a page when we are reading together. I like this book about bones because it packs a lot of information into a format that doesn't look "wordy". It doesn't overwhelm my child. There are factoids on the sides of the pages, drawings of whatever bone is being discussed, and a rhyming poem on each page. We never try to read everything on the page in one reading. One time, we look at just the factoids. Another time, we look at just the poems. In terms of shared reading, it's been a good choice for us.


The 26 page Hamster Holidays, Noun and Adjective Adventures by Cynthia Reeg with illustrations by Kit Grady is a playful tool for spotlighting nouns and adjectives.

This is a book that I like a lot, but I wish it were not in e-book pdf download format. Actually, I'd like ALL of them in a book that I can HOLD, but this one, especially. The nouns in the story are blue; the adjectives are all red. Each month features a different hamster holiday; the stories (poems) are short and cute and are built around a theme that repeats (lots of same but different value for RDIers). The book can be read all at once, or, for children who need shorter sessions, one section (month) at a time. There's a study guide following the story that includes puzzles, games, and activities.


My mind wanders ahead and I make all sorts of mental notes in addition to what I've already noticed about each book. The Andy & Spirit series would work with a unit study on horses. The bones book fits with a nutrition study. We're not quite ready to study nouns and adjectives, but the repetitive theme of the hamster book fits our needs now (and later).

My local library has fallen short at times, and a quick e-book pdf download from Guardian Angel Publishing is one solution to finding the right book to compliment a unit study or to learn more about a topic.

I still don't like the e-book format enough to prefer it, but I am getting more comfortable with it. The longer and more wordy the book, the more I dislike an e-book. As technology moves toward e-books with electronic readers and laptops, our children are going to use e-books more and more, and using Guardian Angel Publishing is one way to ease the family along the e-book pathway.

Be sure to check out the free e-books on the web site. The Guardian Angel Publishing web site is slightly cumbersome to me --yet, I think there's something for a lot of us there. (I'd like books arranged by age/level there.) I encourage you to take the time to click over there and take a look. I found some really useful books there as I browsed. You can't beat a $5 book -- it's a good value if you can leave it in e-book format. (Printing some of the colorful books makes that option less of a value, and I'd rather purchase the hard copy than print from a pdf.) The company offers buyers a peek inside each book and buyers can see which books are sold at retailers in old-fashioned, hold-in-your-hands, BOOK format. It's definitely a web site worth my bookmarking for later.

To read what my Crewmates have to say about Guardian Angel Press and the different books they received, go here.

1 comment:

walking said...

Big Brother is watching, Penny . . . LOL!

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