Friday, May 6, 2011

Andi's Fair Surprise, A Review

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the product and share my honest opinions with you. In today's review, Little Guy was our product tester...

Because I am the mother to only boys, when I received this book with a little girl and a lamb on the cover, I wasn't sure what I would encounter. Andi's Fair Surprise by Susan K. Marlow reminded me of my past experience with Laura Ingalls Wilder books. This gave me hope that Little Guy would enjoy this 'girl' book. 

What is it?

Andi's Fair Surprise is a short chapter book about a little girl who lives on a cattle farm with her family in 1874. She has an adventure traveling on a train with her family to the California State Fair. This Christian fiction story is told from a six-year old's point of view. It is a 74 page paperback that is part of the Circle C Series. I recommend it for new readers between 6 and 8.  

How did we use it?

We chose to enjoy it as a read aloud and discuss it each night before bed.  When Little Guy wanted a second chapter, we took turns reading each page. I felt the author had great insights into the behavior and feelings of a six year old. Little Guy and I enjoyed some giggles as we shared the book. There was even foreshadowing, I took the opportunity to ask Little Guy to predict the next chapters. This book was similar in setting to The Little House Series, but intended for younger readers. Online, there are great activity pages to complement it, the math problems were our favorites. They even have Lapbook resources available for the first 4 books. A unit study mom could really fly with these books.

The things I loved about this book:

The beautiful black and white illustrations, this was Little Guy's favorite:

You can download the challenging activity pages for free. 
These were not busy work, but quality lessons. 
These books and pages could be easily used in a unit study.

There are 8 coloring pages for each title in the Circle C series. 
These beautiful pages can be downloaded here.

There are 4 books in the series with 2 more coming in August 2011.

There's a sweet deal going on now.

These adorable books usually retail for $4.99 each, but can be purchased for $3.49 each through August 31, 2011 with the coupon code HOME11 at the Kregel Publishing web site.. There are book excerpts and supplemental materials available on the site as well.

Things I didn't like about this book.

We only had a chance to review one!

Don't take my word for it, see what other crew members thought of Circle C books here.

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Milk and Honey Mommy said...


You had the same dislike for this product; :-) that we only got to review one. We totally enjoyed the book we received (Andi's Indian Summer) and my daughter has already requested to read the other books in the series. When she finishes those, we are going to look into the Circle C Adventures which is when Andi grows up.

Andi Carter said...

Hi Terri,
He-he . . . I liked your "dislike" of the product. And guess what . . . that picture your little Guy likes is my favorite too! To make sure it was realistic for the illustrator, I had my 21-year-old son (same age as Chad in the book) grab Ellie (his 5 year old niece, my granddaughter) and haul her around upside down. She screamed with joy. Thought it was great. LOL
So thrilled you liked the book, and thank you so much for the lovely review and the posting of the activity sheets.
I am glad to learn that you liked the math page best. I wondered if that activity would be too hard for the 6-8 year old range, but used it anyway, for kids who like a challenge.