Have you ever read a book and wished that rather than just words on a page, you could actually SEE what is being written about? With media enhanced books from Weigl Publishers, your reader can do exactly that. With more than 1800 titles covering topics from science, social studies, math, language arts and fictional storybooks, media-enhanced books bring the story to a full multimedia experience. Members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given three titles to review: A Lion's World, There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant, and Glaciers: Earth's Water.
Weigl books can be read one of two ways. The first is your standard Ebook in a PDF format, which allows you to read on any device and does not require an internet connection to enjoy the story. As a whole, the books are entertaining as is. However, in the front of each book, readers will be directed to a website where they will enter the included code in order to access the extra multimedia content included for each title. After answering a quick question to verify the purchase of the title (questions like what is the last word of the first paragraph on page 10), depending on the title, readers can elect to have the story read to them, watch the still images on the pages spring to life in moving video, or explore more about the topic being discussed.
The ebook version of A Lion's World features 23 pages of brightly colored, double spread photographs of lions with easy to read text for beginner readers and includes 36 common sight words as well as 11 content words that are paired with the pictures to help aid in recognizing and learning new vocabulary words related to the story.
The second title we were given was Glaciers which is part of the "Earth's Water" series. Written by Christine Webster, this 24 page ebook brings readers up close and personal to glaciers. This book is a non fiction science book and is written for grades 3rd-6th.
This particular book takes advantage of the Lightbox website which, once again, using the code found in the front of the book, allows readers to explore glaciers by clicking on embedded elements within the story on the website. These elements may be vocabulary words, links to maps which use a popup from Google maps but does not allow students to click the image to leave the text, or videos that demonstrate the point of what is being described.
For example, as seen in the images below, Page17 of both the Ebook and the Lightbox version of the text looks almost identical. However, the Lightbox version shows that the image on the page is a video link. When the reader clicks on the image, a popup video featuring a video clip from a Smithsonian channel feature on Alaskan Glaciers plays.
We really enjoyed exploring this particular title. One video in particular which showed the calving of one glacier was especially interesting, especially to Garrett who watched that particular video several times in a row. Of the three books, this was without a doubt Garrett's favorite.
The final book that we reviewed was There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant. This is a fiction book written by Helen Ketteman and illustrated by Will Terry and is intended for grades K-2. The book is 31 pages long but follows much to the same sing-song pattern as the original story making it an easy, fun read. The cute illustrations are really cute which helps keep kids interested as well.
Without a doubt, this was mine and Ashleigh's favorite of the three titles, maybe it's the Texan blood in our veins lol. This story is a version of the familiar nonsense children's song "The Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly", however, the fly has been replaced with a good ol' fire ant who, as any Texan knows, bites with a "Texas Size Sting". Through the course of the story, our Cowpoke swallows crazy critters such as Longhorns, armadillos and rattlesnakes trying to rid himself of the previous critter. Thankfully, this story has a much happier ending than the Old Lady who swallowed the fly.
This book is part of the AV2 by Weigl Fiction Read Along which, like the other two selections, allows you to log into a website with a code found in the book where you can have the book read aloud along with sound effects. This story is a bit different than the lion book as this isn't just read to the child but is more of a dramatic reading along with a narrator and a male reading the part of the cowpoke. Ashleigh and Garrett thought the read along was so funny and they enjoyed this story very much.
For more information about Weigl Publishers and the huge library of media enhanced books offered, be sure to visit their website. There you can find a free demonstration of the I Am An Elephant enhanced book. You can also click the banner below to read the reviews of other Crew members.