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Friday, May 6, 2011

Kregel Publishing's Circle C Beginnings Review

Last year, I was asked to review two books by Kregel Publishing.  One of them, called Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure, was part of a series called the Circle C Adventure Series.  We really enjoyed that book (see that review HERE), and so I jumped at the chance to review a book from the new Circle C Beginnings Series!

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The Circle C Beginnings Series tells stories from the early life of the main character of the Circle C Adventure Series, Andi Carter, picking up her story just before her 6th birthday.  They are written for 6-8 year olds on a 2.0-2.8 reading level, and include a short vocabulary list of words used in the book that the student might not be familiar with and a "Peek into the Past" that asks the reader some questions comparing modern life to life in Andi's times-the 1870's.  Andi's Pony Trouble, the book we received to review, is the story of how Andi is desperate to prove she is "big enough" to get a horse of her own to replace her slow, hand-me-down pony for her upcoming 6th birthday.  Over the course of the story, she comes to realize that maybe she isn't as "big" (i.e. responsible) as she thought she was and learns that her being discontent with her pony has a price when her desire to ride her friend's horse back to the farm as fast as she can results in her loyal, dependable pony going missing. When faced with the idea that she might never see her pony again, Andi begins to understand that the slow and steady pony she had been so unhappy with was exactly right for her.

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The pros:  What a delightful story!  Maybe it's because my youngest just turned 6 herself, but we really, really loved this story.  And I love that while the stories are Christian, they are really conceivable too.  Andi is impulsive, makes mistakes, and suffers the consequences.  Sometimes even when she does things right, they don't result in a perfect outcome, and she has to decide how to handle that.  In other words, her life is just like REAL life.  And when the going gets tough, she realizes she needs the kind of help only God can give her, but it's not in the "holier than thou" sort of way that so many Christian books tend to portray children in.  It's again in a very real way just like a child would turn to God; no fancy words, no perfect behavior, just an appeal for help when her own actions can't save her and she realizes she was wrong and God can help make it right.  My children were totally wrapped up in young Andi's story, and they can't wait to read more.  Oh, and the illustrations are beyond cute!

The cons:  NONE!



The bottom line:  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book.  And I'm sure we'd love the rest of the series too.  And for only $4.99 they are a great deal.   But when you add in the fact that they each have a FREE downloadable activity/study guide, they are a STEAL!  The guide includes activities like math problems based on the story, coloring sheets from the book's illustrations, cut and paste story sequencing, and much, much more. (See a sample below).  I can't wait to get more of the series.

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To check out this book or others in the series, (or other books published my Kregel) go HERE.  To see what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a copy of Andi's Pony Trouble in order to be able to give my honest review of the book.  That book was the only compensation I received from my review.
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1 comment:

Andi Carter said...

Hi One blessed mamma!
THanks for your enthusiastic response to Pony Trouble. I like your style (" ...the books are a STEAL...") *grin*

I'm very glad you enjoyed the book and even posted a sample of the activities. The Crew is really on a roll this year, and I appreciate your wonderful review!

Thanks!

Susan