I couldn’t put it down. Truly. So, after I stopped reading the first story to the girls out loud, I took the book and read it to the end by myself. Without them. Even though it was their read aloud. Susan K. Marlow’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch was THAT enjoyable. And surprising. And fun. This book was certainly a fun review, along with the Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook that I will share more about later.
We were first exposed to Circle C Adventures when we were reviewing Susan K. Marlow’s book Thick as Thieves. We fell in love with the main character Andrea Carter, as well as her family, friends, and horses. Circle C Adventures has us wanting more and more. This book brought us a lot more, introducing us to a young Andrea, almost 10 years prior to the other book.
Andi, the affectionate nickname Andrea’s friends and family use for her, is a precocious child. She is a rich character who has such a zest for life that you root for her even when you know something is about to go wrong. Andi gets herself into, and out of, any number of scrapes and escapades. The whole time you are reading, there is such a huge smile on your face as you quickly read to find out what is going to happen next.
Each time we came to the end of one of the short stories, begging and pleading occurred. The girls never wanted to stop reading. Tales from the Circle C Ranch is a series of 11 short stories about Andi and her adventures in 1800s California. Because the setting is so different from our own lives, we have learned a lot about other times and places. From what it was like to go cut your own Christmas tree (we have a fake one because of allergies) to courting during the 1800s, from a one-room schoolhouse to the Washington Territory there is so much to learn as we follow Andi on her adventures.
Andrea began her adventures on the Circle C Ranch and this set of short stories bridges the gaps between some of the full length books. Each story has a time statement that helps you place it within the books and their action so that if you have read the books, you know where these adventures occur. We have not read the other books yet and we found it wasn’t necessary to know the other stories for these to be full of life and fun and joy. It might have added something to each story if we had read what had come before or after but it didn’t take anything away and we thoroughly enjoyed each and every short story.
The setting and background of these adventures really lend themselves to expanded learning, as well. We were able to do this easily with the use of the Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook. All three of the giggly girls have created a lapbook about the life and times in which Andi lived. The lapbook is an easy, thorough way to extend the learning from Tales from the Circle C Ranch.
To use the lapbook, I downloaded it and saved it. Then I printed off the number of copies of each of the mini books and templates we needed. I did not print each activity for each of the girls. E, age 11, did get to do all of the mini books and templates. L, age 9, did all of them, as well. J, age 6, did not do all of them. She is an emergent writer so I limited the amount of writing she would need to do in the lapbook creation. We did the reading to go along with each mini book from the Kindle and avoided printing those pages. We completed each of the mini books and glued them to construction paper. When we were finished, we bound the edges of the construction paper with duct tape and ribbon ties. Each girl had her own booklet about Andi and life in the 1800s.
We all highly recommend Ms. Marlow’s book Tales from the Circle C Ranch and the Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook really added a lot to our learning experience. It isn’t a necessary part to get a lot out of the book but I think it is very much worth the time and effort.
To see what others on the Review Crew thought about Tales from the Circle C Ranch, please visit the Crew website by clicking below.