I have done a couple of reviews of Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C book series: Andi Carter and the Long Ride Home and Andi Carter and the Trouble with Treasure. We’ve always enjoyed Andi, the spunky main character who reminds me so much of a young Laura Ingalls, and the adventures in which she finds herself embroiled. So when I heard that Susan Marlow was writing a new series of Andi chapter books for younger readers, I knew I had to get my hands on them!
Circle C Beginnings is a new book series for kids aged 6-8, featuring six-year-old Andi Carter and her eight-year-old friend Riley. Megan loved them! She finished Andi’s Pony Trouble and is almost finished with the second book in the series, Andi’s Indian summer. She’s already begged me to please get the next two books in the series when they become available in March 2011.
In Andi’s Pony Trouble, the six-year-old birthday girl is trying her best to convince her mom that she’s ready for a horse of her own, rather than her pokey, hand-me-down pony, Coco. Mom’s not buying it and Andi must learn to care for and appreciate the pony she has before she’ll be ready for her own horse.
We next meet Andi in Andi’s Indian Summer, reading scary dime novels with her friend Riley. The tales about Indians taking people captive has Andi spooked, but she soon meets some real Native Americans and finds out that they’re not quite like the dime novels make them out to be.
We started out using the books as Megan’s daily reading practice. It wasn’t long before she was asking me if she could please read ahead. “I’ll probably forget what happened, so I can read it again to you,” she said, in an effort to convince me. She was very relieved when I explained that she could read ahead, then just tell me what happened before she read the next chapter to me. (Shhh…she doesn’t have to know that we were sneaking in a little reading comprehension.)
In addition to the great stories, each book has tie-in coloring pages, activity pages, lapbooks and puzzles available online at AndiandTaffy.com. Megan has colored every coloring page, which are the black-and-white illustrations from the books, at least once.
Since we’ve been on Christmas break, she’s even voluntarily been doing the activity pages, which include vocabulary word matches, writing and geography activities, and puzzles.
The lapbooks, created by A Journey Through Learning, are $12 each. We’re not huge lapbook fans, so we haven’t tried them, but if the activity pages are any indication, I bet the lapbooks are a great way to extend the learning opportunities of the Circle C Beginnings books. The puzzles are free and can either be worked online with a Java-enabled browser, or they can be printed and cut out for hands-0n fun.
Andi’s Pony Trouble and Andi’s Indian Summer can be purchased for a very reasonable $4.99 each, plus $2 shipping, or you can order both books together and pay a single $2 shipping fee. You can read sample chapters or order from the Andi and Taffy website.
If you’re still looking for last-minute Christmas gifts for a young reader in your family, the Circle C Beginnings books may be the perfect solution.
I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary.