Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Imagination Station - Adventures in Odyssey Review and Giveaway

I was very excited when I was contacted to review the Imagination Station book series, because my kids LOVE books. This review will focus primarily on books 5 and 6 the two newest books in the series.

Be sure to also enter the giveaway at the end of the post so you can win your very own set of these amazing books.

When the books arrived my daughter, Gwyn age 5, was very EXCITED. She always gets excited when a package arrives in the mail (okay so do I). That night we began reading Showdown with the Shepard which is book 5 in the series. Since she cannot read on her own yet we sat down on the sofa each night before bedtime to read a few chapters (just her and I). Her first reaction was,"Mom there aren't many pictures in this book!" So I was worried that she may not be ready for chapter books yet. But I explained that the books were special big kid books and that she needed to use her imagination to create pictures in her mind from the descriptions in the book. I continued reading and after the first chapter I told her we would stop and continue reading more the next night. But to my surprise she insisted we read a little more, so we read two more chapters. The next day she drew two scenes from the book. After we completed the book I asked Gwyn if she wanted to make a sling shot or catapult like the ones we read about in the book. She decided she wanted to build a catapult. We also did some more research on catapults like why they were used, when they were used and how they worked.

Gwyn's time machine with lots of buttons!
Gwyn drawing the scene from the book where the bear is chasing the
cousins and David saves them.
Gwyn's catapult which works very well (DON'T put marbles in it).
We used egg cartons, popsicle sticks, tape, glue and a rubber band.
And of course some glitter because every catapult needs glitter, lol.
Gwyns picture of a catapult.
It took us about 5 nights to finish Showdown with the Shepherd and she immediately wanted me to start Problems in Plymouth, which is book 6 in the series. I told her it would have to wait until the next night to which she sadly replied, "okay mom." Since Thanksgiving is coming up I was very excited to read Problems in Plymouth to her. She immediately loved the book because it had Native Americans in it and she very fascinated with the Native American culture. It took us about 6 nights to finish and the book gets rave reviews from Gwyn. She learned some very valuable lessons from the book and of course couldn't wait to move onto the next one, which we did the very next night. We did some further research on Native Americans, drew some pictures and made Native American headdresses.

Gwyn's Native American girl.
Yup even the cat got a headdress
I love that these books engage children and allow their imaginations soar. They also teach about history, geography, religion, science and more. Each book also teaches a valuable lesson like forgiveness, honesty and faith. The publisher recommends these books for age 7 and up, but I personally feel that if you are reading to a younger child (age 5 or 6) they will easily be able to comprehend the books. Something else these books have helped Gwyn with is her handwriting. She HATES to write, at least when I tell her she needs to. During our Problems in Plymouth reading time she asked if she could write while I read. What she ended up doing  was taking her version of notes. She was copying various words off the pages while I was reading. This also lead into conversations about punctuation. I guess since the pages weren't fill with pictures to distract her she was paying more attention to the words and the structure of them.

At the end of each book is puzzle which will reveal a secret word. After you reveal the secret word you can enter it on the Imagination Station website to unlock a special surprise. Gwyn enjoyed the puzzles. Problems at Plymouth had a quiz and I was very shocked when she knew all of the answers to the questions. Also on the website are some other great resources such as vocab lists, family activities, more history facts and devotionals.

We have also finished book 1 and 2. Books 7 and 8 are in currently in the works below you can catch a glimpse of the covers. I really hope that the series continues after book 8 because Gwyn will be devastated if it ends.

Books in the series:
More about Adventures in Odyssey & The Imagination Station Books:
Adventures in Odyssey was started by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family in 1986. He wanted to produce a high-quality drama series for the radio that families could enjoy. They decided that it should be set in a small town (called Odyssey) somewhere in the Midwest and hearken to the golden age of radio without sounding dated. In 1987, a 13-week test series was aired on the Focus on the Family broadcast. It was called Family Portraits and chronicled the lives and times of Odyssey residents & including John Whittaker and a special "soda shop and discovery emporium" called Whit's End. The response was so favorable that Focus went one step further and created the weekly radio program that is now called Adventures in Odyssey.

The Imagination Station series is a historical fiction adventure series for young readers, published by Tyndale House and Focus on the Family. Travel back in time with two cousins and sail with the Vikings, meet a Roman emperor, come face-to-face with China’s Kublai Khan, and experience a host of other historical adventures in the  Imagination Station series for young readers. The series features the virtual reality device the Imagination Station, which is one of the major plot devices used in the Adventures in Odyssey audio drama series. Nobody knows the inner workings of the mysterious device, invented by Odyssey’s Mr. Whittaker, but with a push of a button, it launches users back in time to experience historical events in-person. 

Links to visit:
"The key to adventure lies within your imagination."

One lucky reader will receive books 1-6 in the series (valued at $26.94). Only the first entry is mandatory. Other entries are optional and give you extra chances.   

Please wait a moment for Rafflecopter to load....

*Disclaimer - Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary set of books to review on my blog. I was not compensated for my review and all opinions are our own! Many of the links found on my my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.


Anonymous said...

My son love The Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House and Adventures in Oddyssey. Although the latter is due to DVDs and not books. We are very excited to learn that there are book available.

Unknown said...

My oldest loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series - we also have some great "fish" books that are local in our area- we also love the Abeka book stories (oh, and Hardy Boys) We have seen an Adventures in Oddyssey dvd that was great & I love Focus on the Family from Way back :)

Unknown said...

Passages series is great from AIO! not sure where exactly I'm supposed to enter this info- for extra entry (another series AIO offers)

Unknown said...

I figured out the right spot- but I put the wrong date on it! can't sleep - too tired to think - just trying to get a jump start on the giveaways while you are sleeping!!! lol
but seriously- :)

Unknown said...

We just began reading Little House chapter books.

Kathy Balman said...

@Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing You are too funny!

Heidi said...

All of my children have different favorites. Jayden is currently into one of the many Star Wars series.

Melissa N. said...

My son LOVES the Magic Tree House series and these seem very similar!

Thanks for hosting


Stopping over from Mary's, Homegrown Learners!

Mark said...

I'd love to win a copy of this series, I've been a fan of AIO for many years

Tara said...

Our fave chapter book series right now is The Boxcar Children! These are FABULOUS!

Anonymous said...

My kids love The Mysterious Benedict Society books. We are about to start The Sugar Creek Gang series which my little brother loved when he was a kid. :) ~Kristi Carter

Ariqua Gilliss said...

My sibling's favorite chapter series are the Boxcar Children. I would love to win this series and be able to give them to them for Christmas! :)

Brenda said...

My kids really like the Magic Tree House series, and the Little House on the Prarie series.


cindy said...

My sons favorite chapter books right now are the humphrey the hamster series.

Kathy Balman said...

I am loving all of the book ideas everyone is sharing especially since Gwyn is into chapter books now!

Kathy Balman said...

@Brock Eastman Wow so excited one of the authors stopped by to comment! Thanks it means a lot to me. We really are loving the books and I would have never know my daughter was ready for chapter books if I didn't get these to review.

A Thoughtful Spot said...

My kids love the Magic Tree House books, but their current favorite is The Little House in the Prairie.

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