Thursday, May 3, 2018

Multimedia Digital Books - Weigl Publisher Review

If there's one thing our house is bursting with, it's books. Storybooks, phonics readers, informational books, audiobooks, and e-books. My girls know that I'm a sucker for books in all forms. For this review I had the opportunity to check out three different types of books from Weigl Publishers and the digital content that accompanied each book. We reviewed Glaciers, A Lion’s World, and There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant. These were digital books with interactive content.

All of the on-screen books come with a special code that you use to activate the book to begin narration, sound effects, and links to additional resources of videos, activities, slideshows, interactive maps, transparencies, games, quizzes, and puzzles. Each book is delivered in PDF format and contain a special code that unlocks the interative e-book. The only thing you need to bring the book to life is the code and a computer, tablet, or phone to play it on that allows Flash and/or Javascript.

Weigl Publishers

We downloaded the books on the iPad we use for school and saved them to the iBooks app. This gave the girls access to the e-books whether they were on WiFi or not. The interactive content is available from a website. Using the access code (on what would be the back cover of the book) and a security word from the text we opened a new way to take these books to the next level - narrated texts, comprehension questions, and more.

The security word will be something similar to "the third word on page 33." No, that is not the actual security word prompt for any of the books, but just an example of what you'll need. I mention it only because we'd closed the PDF the first time when we went to switch to the interactive site and had to go back and reopen the book. After this, we learned to keep the PDF window open until we were in.

Weigl Publishers Media Enhanced Books

There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant – Ideal for Grades K-2. This is a read-along story complete with sound effects that are intended to get the child excited about reading with this silly, fun story that follows a sequential poetic style that builds on the previous pages. I love predictive text and repetitive stories for young readers!

There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant

A Lion’s World is a great non fiction read for young readers to learn more about lions.

My second grader read this to her kindergarten sister in the iBooks app. What I did love about the interactive feature on the website was the animated pictures. Instead of a still photo of a lion, you got a video of the lion. My girls loved this book. We muted the audio so that my second grader was still the "reader", even when she was viewing the enhanced book with the video, but it's nice to have so my newer reader can revisit on her own.

A Lions World

Glaciers from the series “Earth’s Water” is published under the imprint Lightbox and is intended for Grades 3-6, as a non-fiction text with further study links included to learn scientific facts about glaciers. There is an on-screen test and other fun and educational activities throughout the book.

This book was used by my second grader, with support from me, as an introduction to a research text. She and I shared the reading, and we made good use of the comprehension and extension activities to discuss how we might read a book for information and distill that information down. It was factually accurate, yet easy for my not quite eight year old to understand in a scientific context.   The additional activities for Glaciers included 10 pages of activities on glaciers.  These activities cover geography, history, and science (zone activity, movement over time, and glaciers around the world), writing (expository paragraph and write a letter), vocabulary (key words), and quizzes. 

Glaciers Earths Water

Overall, we enjoyed all three books, but for this format, we really made the most use of the non-fiction titles. I loved the way all the extra content was so easy to access and tie in, and I hope to use this for more non fiction titles in the future!

Multimedia Digital Books {Weigl Publishers Reviews}

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