Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Guardian Angel Publishing

Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. is a children’s book publisher for a contemporary audience. The company offers customers a wealth to choose from with nearly 100 titles targeted for children age 0-12 in a variety of formats including e-books in PDF files, e-books on CD, print paperback books, and very soon book video DVD’s. Guardian Angel Publishing states on their website that “education and learning are our goals!” and from the three PDF e-books I was sent to review I believe they met their goal successfully.

The first book our family read and reviewed was Rainbow Sheep by Kim Chantel. This sweet and simple picture book shares the story of an uninspired rainbow and the little girl and sheep who turn the rainbow’s grey day into one of color. The illustrations accompanying the text are actually photographs of Chantel’s unique wool felting fiber art. The images seemed to rise off the page begging to be touched.

Following the story are step by step directions for a variety of wool felted projects definitely inspired by the picture book story. One of the felting projects is recommended for ages 8 and up, however while the story is written for younger students. I found this disparity a bit frustrating since the project was understandably too difficult for the targeted audience of the story. I believe older students could benefit from the project by using the delightful illustrations accompanying the text as inspiration for their felting project.

“I really liked the book because it was colorful”, said Sierra age 8. “I liked the colorful sheep. I want to make the sheep that were in the book”.

“I liked the colors. I liked when the sheep got covered in colors”, said Aidan age 5.

Rainbow Sheep is suggested for ages 4 and older. It contains 11 original fiber art illustrations, 4 pages of felting for fun activities, a glossary of fiber art terms and further information for fiber art education. The book is available in PDF, CD, print paperback, and book DVD formats.

Hamster Holidays, part of the Pet Grammar Parade Series by Cynthia Reeg, is a fanciful book about nouns and adjectives and although not noted by the publisher provides readers great practice with calendar reading. It is written for ages 5-12, so I read the story aloud to my 5 and 8 year olds and assigned it to my 12 year old.

Throughout the book all the nouns are typed in blue font while adjectives appear in red. Other story elements are in typical black type allowing the nouns and adjectives to virtually jump off the page to readers. At the conclusion of the book a review of definitions of common nouns, proper nouns, compound nouns and noun plural spellings are provided. Various puzzles and word games make up the conclusion of the book allowing the homeschool teacher to capitalize on grammar study generated by the hamsters.

Aidan and Sierra both gave Hamster Holidays two thumbs up. “It was very good, because the hamsters had hats and costumes and stuff like that”, said Aidan age 5.

“I really liked Hamster Holidays because it was really funny”, added Sierra, age 8.

Micah, age 12, was a bit more critical. “It was cute and funny, but I don’t think kids my age would enjoy it as much as younger kids (7 or 8 year olds). The storyline was kind of young and the humor a bit too young for my age.”

Hamster Holidays is currently available as a PDF e-book, E-book CD or print paperback from Guardian Angel’s website.

Our final gift from the publisher for review was a 19 page story of determination despite handicaps or disability. Andy and Spirit Go To the Fair by Mary Jean Kelso chronicles the story of Andy, a not so typical 4-H kid, and his first experience showing a horse named Spirit at a local fair. A portion of the proceeds of this book are donated to Healing Reins non-profit organization and Horseplay of Femley, NV. The publisher offered no age suggestions for a target audience of Andy and Spirit Go To the Fair, but I would guess 8 and up could easily read and enjoy the book independently or if younger horse enthusiasts abound easily used as a brief family read aloud.

The end of the book provides a one page article on the management of wild horses in the U.S. along with helpful website listings for further research. Readers interested in learning more about 4-H will appreciate the brief informative description of 4-H along with website address included on the final page of the book.

When asked for her opinion of Andy and Spirit Go To the Fair, Micah age 12 sincerely answered, “I liked the message of the book. I felt I knew a lot about the main character, what his life is like and his difficulties”.

Andy & Spirit is available on the Guardian Angel Publishing website as a PDF download, E-book CD, Print paperback or DVD Book Video.

I am not a huge fan of e-books just because I love the sensory experience of turning pages and holding a text rather than clicking my mouse and staring at light. I was thrilled to note, however that all three of my selections are available in traditional paperback formats if I desire. The obvious benefits of purchasing a PDF e-book include instant download gratification and price. All PDF e-books from Guardian Angel Publishing are $5.00; while a CD based e-book is$9.95 plus $5.95 shipping and handling. Print paperback versions of the books are priced at $10.95 plus $6.95 shipping and handling and DVD Book versions are $9.95 plus $5.95 shipping and handling.

To purchase books from Guardian Angel Publishing visit the company website at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/

1 comment:

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thank you for reviewing the books. I like seeing the quotes from the kids, too!