Monday, March 21, 2011

TOS Review - Brill Kids Little Reader Storybooks - Aesop's Fables Volume 1

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In October, I shared my opinion of Brill Kids Little Reader Learning System (Click here for that post). Today's product is a set of storybooks designed to be used in conjunction with the Little Reader Learning System. Brill Kids Little Reader Storybooks have a simple, but oh so effective format to encourage your child to focus on the words as opposed to the pictures in a book.

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I received the Aesop's Fables, Volume 1 to review with my children. This set includes 5 softbound books: The Lion and the Mouse, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Fox and the Grapes, The Turtle and The Rabbit, and The Fox and The Crow.

When FRitW and I are reading together, I have noticed that he does not pay any attention to the words, but focuses on the pictures. Often there are a few words he can read, but I have to redirect his attention for him to notice the words and read those he knows. These books are designed for this exact circumstance. I guess that means that I am not the only mom who has experienced this problem!

BrillKids Little Reader Storybooks have words on the left hand page and a picture on the right hand page. There is a flap built into the book to cover the picture as the words are read. Then the parent uncovers the picture, turns the page and replaces the flap while the words are read. I love the way this works. Since the book is designed to be used this way, the boys didn't seem to be bothered by the flap like they might be if I just used a piece of paper to cover the pictures in another book.

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Although I definitely like the concept of these books, there were a couple of things that bothered me:
  • Some of the stories were modified enough to interfere with the 'lesson' that all Aesop's fables include. For example, in The Boy Who Cried Wolf - the boys cries wolf only once, then the actual wolf comes and nobody helps him.
  • Even with the modifications they included many words beyond the scope of the typical learning to read child. ( a few examples: quite, cunning, realizes)
A particularly impressive part of these books is that you may download and import an electronic version into your Brill Kids Little Reader Program and your children may have the story read to them. The pictures and words match the physical readers, but there is some animation and an arrow points to the word being read. When using the electronic version, you may choose to have the color and font of the text different with each reading. Also, there are 3-4 different voices that rotate through the story and the text is shown alone, then repeated with the illustration visible (in a different voice).

I really like the ability to use the books both physically and on the computer. FRitW and MT  enjoyed the books and asked to read them again and again.

Aesop's Fables, Volume 1 is available for the introductory price of $37.50, normally $50.00. Honestly, I felt that this price was a bit steep for 5 softbound readers, but they are well made, sturdy books, and you are able to use them in conjunction with Little Reader if you have it.

Click here to see what other TOS Homeschool Crew members thought about Brill Kids Aesop's Fables.
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**Any products reviewed by me as a member of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew have been given to me free of charge in order for me to provide you with an honest review of the product and/or how we used the product within our family. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

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