Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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We recently received for review a pretty cool new book. It's from a company called Wizzy Gizmo, which gets its name from the main character of the book series. We received Book One: Who Created Everything? by Chris del Aguila and Justin Cummins. The book is a 58-page, full color paperback. There are seven chapters, most of which are very short. It was easy for us to read multiple chapters in a sitting, even when it was close to (or past!) bedtime. The illustrations, which were drawn by one of the authors, are beautiful. I know that word is tossed around pretty liberally these days in regards to children's book illustrations, but I truly believe it's fitting here. The layout of the book was really nicely done as well. There is a lot of interest from page to page, beyond just text and pictures. They did a nice job of incorporating their text into their pictures. Who Created Everything? is written with kids ages 4-12 in mind, and I think that's pretty accurate. My kids are 2, 7, and 10, and they all enjoyed our read aloud time with this book. Small Fry, being only 2, didn't really fully understand the book, of course, but he sat quietly and listened and looked at the pictures (for the most part) while we read. Retail price is $12.99, which is very reasonable for the quality of the book.
What This Book is All About
Wizzy Gizmo is a inventor living in the fictional city of Sunnyville. He creates all sorts of awesome contraptions, the shining star of which is called the Gizmovision. The Gizmovision allows the user to not just read a book, but to become a part of the book. Which book doesn't matter. When he shows his invention to the kids of Sunnyville, each one has an idea for which book they would like to experience, but in the end, Wizzy gets the final say, and he chooses the Bible. With the Bible in place on the Gizmovision, Wizzy and the children embark on the adventure of a lifetime - seeing the Creation of the World as it's happening! The book is not technically a time-travel book, although it feels that way at times, but that's all part of the magic of the Gizmovision machine. The first chapter introduces the characters - the children, Wizzy, and Wizzy's two "pets": a robotic duck called Qwacky (who provides regular comic relief) and a Spanish dog called Pepe. This is also where we learn about the Gizmovision and how it works. Each subsequent chapter takes a day of Creation and goes over it in detail.
How Biblical is this book, anyway?
The short answer is "very." Here's a bit more: While this book shouldn't replace reading the actual Bible, it is a great way to introduce children to the concept behind Creation, and in teaching what was created on each of the six days. Book One: Who Created Everything? covers the first chapter of Genesis, and does it wonderfully. There is lots of Scripture built right into the story (NASB translation). While the kids are experiencing Creation, a narrator of sorts - a big, booming voice coming from everywhere and nowhere - reads the verses, and then the kids in the story see/feel/experience that verse. The authors aren't trying to hide the scripture, either. It's set apart from the normal narration and is printed in bold to help it stand out further. They include the reference each time they use a verse.
How we read Book One: Who Created Everything?
My initial thought with this book was that I'd have Munchkin and Seahawk read the book independently, but one thing led to another, and we ended up doing it as a read-aloud. It was very good for this. The characters are fun, especially Qwacky. As I mentioned before, we read it at bedtime, and it was very good for that. The chapters are a reasonable length, and each one is cliffhanger enough to keep you coming back the next night to find out what's going to happen, but not so much that you feel like a mean mom for stopping!
In addition to the story itself, the book includes vocabulary words. These are easy to spot within the text because they're bold and italicized. After the story, there's a glossary of these words, so it's a great way to help build your child's vocabulary. The vocabulary words include things from what seem basic (to me, but I'm an adult . . .) like "relationship" and "dramatic" to much more complicated words like "auspicious" and "unmitigated." There are also review questions at the back of the book, which we used to do a Book Battle, just like when the boys read The Whipping Boy. They love that game! Having a few questions (ten, to be exact) provided gave me a good jumping off place to write even more. (For a Book Battle, you need at least 25 questions/vocabulary words.)
Our opinion of this book
This book was great. There were times when the "grammar grouch" in me cringed, but despite those moments, it was still worth the read. The boys really liked this book, too. I have no doubt that they will read it over and over again during the next couple of years.
More Info Book One: Who Created Everything? isn't the only thing Wizzy Gizmo has to offer. There's also an audio drama of the book, which has the same name. There's a second book, In His Image, which takes Wizzy and the kids of Sunnyville on a trip through Genesis 2. And there's a set of cards, the Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament. I don't know much about the other items, but between all us Schoolhouse Review Crew members, all four items are represented. Make sure to click the banner below to find out more! In addition to more Crew reviews, you can connect with Wizzy Gizmo on a variety of social media outlets: Facebook Google+ TwitterPinterest Vimeo