Sometimes, we look for electronic resources and books that provide a way for the girls to learn to navigate the electronic world. Weigl Publishers is a company that publishes innovative, high-quality electronic books and other resources. These are available in the US and around the world. Their media enhanced materials are fairly unique.
Our review for Weigl Publishers included three interactive, electronic books.
- There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant,
- A Lion’s World, and
Each book must be purchased and contains a unique code to input on the website that will unlock the interactive features. There is no subscription or site fees.
There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by Will Terry. This is published under their AV2 imprint (subgroup). The AV2 imprint has both fiction and non-fiction, as well as Spanish language titles. They began releasing titles under this imprint in 2010.
This is an interactive book read by professional voice actors with additional sound effects and fun audio additions. The digital version of the book can be read to the student or the student can read by himself. Each sentence is brought to life. If the student is being read to, the text sentences are highlighted as they are read and the pages turn at the appropriate time. If the student is read by himself, then the student will have to click next to turn the page. If the student gets stuck on a sentence, or just wants to hear it read, then placing the pointer over the sentence will cause it to be read out loud.
The story line is what you probably imagine – A cowpoke eats an ant. It stings his stomach so he has to each a spider to get the ant. The spider causes problems so he has to eat a roadrunner to get the spider. And so on. Each is more ridiculous and funny than the last. Just wait until you get to the end to see what he eats last and how it turns out in the end.
This book is best suited for K-2nd but I can definitely see pre-schoolers enjoying the antics of the cowpoke.
A Lion’s World is a non-fiction title from the EyeDiscover imprint. Weigl launched EyeDiscover in 2016. The titles in this imprint have interactive online content directed at 4-7 year olds, or K-2nd grades. When you access the digital version of the books the student sees full-screen videos and the text is read aloud.
This non-fiction titles is about a lion and the world he lives in. It includes such things as the word for the family unit, the loudness of the roar, and what actions you might find a lion doing. Each page has a short video that is looped to repeat and a short text. The text is read aloud but it is also printed on a banner at the bottom of the page. You can turn the text reading on or off, according to the desire of the student. The back of the book includes two pages of very visual facts (infographic) and a page of key words and their location within the book.
While this book is listed as a K-2 level, it would also be interesting for younger children due to the videos and the text being read. As a single viewing, it might also be interesting for a slightly older student, though I would not expect them to learn anything new from it.
Glaciers is a book from the Lightbox imprint by Weigl. This type of book combines the digital book with online content, interactive pages, and printable resources. It is extremely interactive and takes a multimedia approach to content. Combining the multimedia approach with audio, video, and text, students are more actively engaged in the content. Using interactive content such as layered charts and graphs, embedded web-links, and pop-up vocabulary definitions, students are engaged in learning with this full digital product. There are titles for both elementary and secondary levels.
Glaciers by Christine Webster is a non-fiction title and explores the science of glaciers. The digital book is easy to navigate even though there are quite a few buttons to click on each of the pages. The right and left arrow keys move the reader forward and backward in the book. If there is a bolded word, click it and the definition pops up. Videos are embedded and play right in the window being used. The controls for all of this are on the sides of the book. If there is a printable, it does pop up in another window as a PDF. This all makes it so easy. There is a play button to have the text read.
The science of the glaciers covers definitions and how they study glaciers. It lists the parts of the glacier body and includes a transparency interaction where clicking the different parts of the glacier brings in its label and description. Glaciers sizes, definitions, and locations are all covered and includes an interactive Google Earth section where you can view the images of the glaciers and paths to them. (This was probably Miss J’s favorite part!) The embedded videos, such as the one of the polar bear or the one of the crevasse and cave in the glacier, are fascinating and really help build understanding of the glacier.
Glaciers is intended for students ages 8-12 or grades 3-6. I found this to be a pretty accurate range, though I think it is so rich that students up through 8th grade could easily find much to learn from this book.
The interactive ability of the Glaciers book created a desire to keep learning more. This subject would not have been interesting to Miss J but with all of the interactivity it was fascinating for her. This book took quite a while for us to work through because there were so many activities and printables and videos. It was basically a full unit study, all on its own. We probably took a week during our science time to work through this book.
Weigl Publishers has a lot of wonderful resources to offer and we were pleased to be introduced to them. I am particularly interested in learning more about the middle school and high school books available through the Lightbox imprint. There is so much there!