Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Reviewing Three Books from Weigl Publishers

Are you looking for interactive literature that includes links to multimedia like videos, audio books, activities, and slideshows? Weigl Publishers offers media-enhanced books as part of their AV2 collection – added value and added visual – and our family had the privilege of reviewing three of their works. Our children and I reviewed the following three books:
  • A Lion's World – part of the "EyeDiscover" Series 
  • There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant 
  • Glaciers – part of the "Earth's Water" series from the Lightbox imprint 

Within each book is a digital code that unlocks multimedia content such as audio, video, weblinks, slideshows, and activities. The multimedia content varies from book to book and appears to differ based upon the age level each book is geared towards. There was significantly more multimedia content for Glaciers than there was for A Lion's World and There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant.

The AV2 (edit title) collections include several different collections - from the Let's Read Collection to their High Interest Collection - there is sure to be something for your reader. The Let's Read Collection consists of 47 AV2 titles geared towards ages 5 to 7. The Science Collection features books like Glaciers from the Waters Science series and other topics on animals, machines, and the five senses – to name a few. The Social Studies Collection features over 150 titles with videos, embedded weblinks, quizzes, and more to teach children about the 50 states, American celebrations, icons, and more. The High Interest Collection features books to engage reluctant readers. There are a variety of books including those on sports which are sure to grab the interest of any child since they range in topic from field hockey to football to cheer-leading to biking.

Our four-year-old was very eager to check out all the features available for each of the books.

A Lion's World

In A Lion's World, children are introduced to lions in Africa with facts about this magnificent species  of big cat.

For younger children, A Lion's World is a perfect book for an introduction to the study of lions. I could see families reading it together, listening to the story online, and then working on a lion-themed craft similar to the one we made. Both of our children's favorite part of A Lion's World was hearing the lion roar. This really brings the book to life!

I loved our daughter's reaction to the lion. Getting to actually see and hear the lions when reading A Lion's World is a great advantage to using digital books. 

Reading and listening to A Lion's World provided the perfect opportunity for our children to make their own lions and for us to talk more about the big cats. We talked about the difference between male and female lions after looking at the photos and videos in A Lion's World as well as where one can find lions in the wild. If your family wanted, you could see if there were any local zoos which house lions so you could see them in person and compare them to the videos.

There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant Written by Helen Ketteman and Illustrated by Will Terry

While reading this story and looking at the book online, our four-year-old stopped several times to share images and pictures with his two-year-old sister.

I enjoyed the fact that the narrator and the cowpoke were read by different voice actors. This helped bring the story to life for our family.

Our son's favorite pages were those with all the animals in the cowpoke's stomach. Both of our children found this to be a silly story to listen to and read aloud. Our daughter's favorite pages were those that reviewed all the animals that the Cowpoke had swallowed.

Glaciers: Earth's Water

At first, I was just going to look at the Glaciers by myself, as it is written for older children than our four-year-old (interest level 3-6 grades) but after reading through A Lion's World and There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant, our son wanted to look at the third book, too. As he 'flipped' through the book, he proudly showed me each page and read me the words he already knew. And he was so excited to see the map! That had to be his favorite part when we went online. I think my favorite parts were the videos that accompanied the book  including the one that showed inside the crevices of a glacier.

There are also a number of downloadable activities that accompany Glaciers. These include a chart of Glaciers around the world, an expository paragraph exercise, and a quiz – among other things. They are perfect to supplement the book, videos, and other features of Glaciers.

When using the Glaciers Menu page, you can highlight a feature to see on which pages you can find it. For example, in the image above, the pages with videos are highlighted. So, Glaciers contains four pages with videos in addition to the five pages with printable activities and three pages of weblinks. This makes it very easy for both parents and children to navigate and learn more about the topic. The quiz is both within the book and available as a PDF file to download. Another good feature is that the vocabulary words are in bold print and underlined.

They also offer a Curriculum Correlations download that addresses which National Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science that the Earth's Water series meets. (There are total of 7 books in the Earth's Water series including Glaciers.)

To learn more about Media Enhanced Books from Weigl Publishers please see:

To read additional reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew please see: 


  1. Sounds like an interesting resource and a good way to extend the books.

    1. I was really impressed with the multimedia content of the Glaciers book. So many useful activities.