Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Magic Stories (Reading Supplement Review and Giveaway)

The ability to read is probably the most valuable scholarly skill that can be taught, as virtually all other instruction builds on that capacity. It is also one of those skills that can cause a great deal of anxiety and frustration for both parent/teacher and young child. Supplemental materials that offer learning opportunities in an engaging manner, like The Magic Stories can be a huge blessing to those teaching early reading, or helping those who struggle with reading.

The Magic Stories is a new product put out by Allsaid & Dunn, LLC,  publishers of the highly acclaimed "Wordly Wise" vocabulary series, and also a product I reviewed a number of years ago, The Reading Game. This time, instead of a workbook (like Wordly Wise), or a matching game (like the Reading Game), the chosen format is a set of six stories optimized for reading on iPad or computer screen, or they can be printed out in booklet form. I just read them on my computer screen, as my ipad has limited capacity at the moment. If your child loves to read and color, printing them would be a good option, as there are nice, black and white illustrations suitable for coloring in (probably with colored pencil).


The purpose behind this particular series is to help children move from the simpler, early beginning reader words to some that are more complex, but not easily decoded through basic phonetic skills and word family association. This is done by incorporating "40 Naughty Words" that don't follow the rules, and need to be learned somewhat more individually. Each Story includes its own set of 40 Naughty Words in a deck of cards that can be printed for flashcard use, or game play (Print twice on cardstock and use it to play a concentration/matching game, or Go Fish or Old Maid, or anything similar your child enjoys. :). These cards are the main method of learning the vocabulary for these books.

In addition to the stories, you can download  worksheets which include a pre/post word assessment (highly recommended to use this prior to reading the story). There are also reading comprehension worksheets, as well as instructions on how to best use the stories with your children. All of these can be found on the Parent Guide section of the website.

  • Finish the Sentence (comprehension exercise that requires the student to finish a sentence about the story, with information gleaned from the story.)
  • Imagine (Open-ended type questions)
  • Finish the Story 
  • And my personal favorite, a True/False comprehension "Maze" that I think is fun and creative! :) 

Now, a word about the stories. The stories are engaging and most of them end up with some sort of moral application, as all good stories do. Here is my quick take away from each story.

The Magic Hole is set in China ~ sometimes the silver lining can actually be the treasure in the end.
The Magic Ax is in an ambiguous forest setting~ having secrets (that might normally be considered good news) can change you (usually not for the best).
The Magic Joke is set in a kingdom ~ in which a foolish king is saved from "war for war's sake" by the quick thinking of his daughter.
The Magic Hotdog is more of a cautionary tale~ in which we learn that an obsession with anything (even something as simple as hot dogs) is not good for your health.
The Magic Boots didn't actually have as much of a take-away, in my opinion. Just a little story about a mix-up between pixies and goblins.
The Magic Box is a different take on Rumplestiltskin, a cautionary tale of the dangers of greed, to some extent. (side note~ I don't particularly love cautionary tales, because they generally don't have a happy ending... :/ However, others love them, so this is just an FYI).

The stories as a whole remind me of some of the fairy tales I read as a child, and the fact that they have specific words woven through them so seamlessly is pretty impressive. If you appreciate the qualities of fairy tales, you might want to give the Magic Stories a try with your intermediate/reluctant/struggling reader.

Allsaid & Dunn are offering my readers a 25% discount on your purchase if  you input the code   raisingreaders   into the coupon box at checkout.

They are also providing a free set of Magic Stories for one reader of my blog... see the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
  • Company: Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, Publishers 
  • Product: The Magic Stories
  • Ages: 2nd and 3rd grade (regular readers, older for struggling readers) 
  • Price: $16.95
You can visit The Magic Stories on the Reading Game's Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube pages.

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1 comment:

Thanks so much for letting me know you were here. I appreciate "thoughtful" comments. :)



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