Thursday, September 3, 2009

Review: Guardian Angel Publishing

We're a family of readers. The children and I check out anywhere from 3-30 books from the library at a time, depending upon the person. (The higher end being Sierra's deal, unless we're in the middle of a Unit Study...then that total jumps to about 50.) There's just something so peaceful about holding a fresh, new (or rather, new to me) book in my hands. (Ahh....)

E-books are great too, even if there's no actual "delicious book weight" involved. But what e-books lack in density they make up for in the area of storage and organization. (Our bookshelves have reached maximum capacity, whereas my hard drive's wide open. Enough said.)

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received free copies of 5 terrific E-books from Guardian Angel Publishing in exchange for an honest, personal review.

Guardian Angel Publishing strives to produce quality educational books for children between the ages of 0-12. Their titles are "embedded with positive, loving and worthwhile meaning" and fused with lush, detailed illustrations. Books are currently available in print, digital and CD versions with a DVD version in the works. One title (see below) is available as an app on your iPhone or iPod, with more to come in the near future! (How cool is that?)

First up is "Hamster Holidays: Noun and Adjective Adventures" by Cynthia Reeg. A host of playful, fun-loving rodents walk early readers through a year of special dates such as "Kite Dance Day" and "Sing a Song Day". This adorable picture book makes a great introduction to parts of speech for young readers (or those young-at-heart). A handy Study Guide featured at the end of the book contains additional noun/adjective recognition activities, puzzles, word finds and more.

We LOVED this book! It's very cute and fun to read. The only minor "flaw" was the fact that it made my son want a hamster even more. (Ahem)

E-book: $5 CD: $9.95 plus 5.95 shipping Print: $10.95 plus 6.95 shipping

Next up is: No Bones About It: The Sum of Our Parts Series by Bill Kirk.

Ready for a fun science lesson? "No Bones About It" is a unique, slightly creepy look at the human skeleton. Presented in poetic rhyme with more "serious" sounding Factoids sprinkled on every page (which double as great quiz material), the book covers all the bones of the body in a fun, non-schoolish way.

I wish we'd had this book two years ago when we made our "paper" bodies! It would've really added a little extra spice to our studies! "No Bones About It" is an excellent, highly-informative resource that I would recommend for kids over the age of 8. While my children loved this book because of its mild "creep" factor, those of a more sensitive nature may be less receptive.

E-book: $5 CD: $9.95 plus 5.95 s/h Print: $10.95 plus 6.95 s/h

Gifts From God by Cynthia Reeg is a beautiful book filled with the rich, colorful photo art of Mary Sue Roberts. Laced with Scripture and simple sentence structure, this book would make a charming addition to any toddler or pre-reader's bookshelf. Great for both families and church preschools.

E-book: $5 CD: $9.95 plus 5.95 s/h Print: $10.95 plus 5.95 s/h
Print versions of this title are also available at B&,, or

Earthquake by Susan Berger takes teaches readers all about earthquakes (what causes them, what they feel like) and earthquake preparedness. All the information is presented in a simple, informative manner designed to ease children's fears.

The kids especially enjoyed reading a bit about the Northridge Quake which their Daddy "slept through" back in 1994. (Ahem) This spawned an internet search of old news coverage and even more discussion about how "Mommy will never live in California even though Washington gets earthquakes, too." (Ahem) Great resource...great read. Highly recommended. :)

E-book: $5 CD: $9.95 plus 5.95 s/h Print: $11.95 plus 6.95 s/h

Last, but certainly by no means least, is Maybe We Are Flamingos by Safari Sue Thurman. This was by far our favorite e-book of the bunch!

This charming tale features flamingo siblings, Flora and (get ready for it...) Fernando, who are worried that they'll be forced to leave their flock because they're not pink like all the others.

The pair finally gathers enough courage to ask their mother what makes them so different. "Mum" gently explains the "flamingo dietary facts of life" to her confused offspring and to young readers alike.

A sweet, heartwarming story coupled with vivid illustrations, Maybe We Are Flamingos is a perfect read-aloud for children ages 3-9.

My children LOVED the fact that the character's name was Fernando (*For those of you who don't know, Fernando's the name of our pet chihuahua*), and even--ahem--read the story multiple times to our Fernando whilst he sat upon their laps. (Yeah. They're weird....) I loved how this book had an actual plot, which was a refreshing change of pace from the previous titles.

Maybe We Are Flamingos is available in all formats:
E-book: $5 CD: $9.95 plus 5.95 s/h Print: $10.95 plus 6.95 s/h
DVD: $9.95 plus 5.95 s/h iPod/iPhone App: $2.99

We were very impressed with the quality and selection offered through Guardian Angel Publishing. Their E-books are charming, humorous, engaging, detailed and informative. At $5 a piece, they're a great value. What's more, GAP guarantees their E-books will be free from errors or they'll gladly send you a replacement copy free of charge. (Pretty neat, huh?)

*A side note on the whole "print your own e-book" thing: Because the pictures are so lush and vivid, I don't recommend you print any of these titles yourself. Unless you have a bucket-load of ink, I would suggest you simply pay a few dollars more for the print version if you absolutely have to have a book in your hands. :)

To learn more about these and other great titles from Guardian Angel, please check out their website. While you're there, you may want to peek at their nifty Freebies section! (Wink-wink, nudge, nudge) We proudly award Guardian Angel Publishing two yippee-skippy thumbs up!

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