We were given the chance to receive and review The Magic Stories by Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, publishers of The Reading Game and authors of the Wordly Wise series. Since we have a 3rd grader, we fit right into the age group that these were written for.
The Magic Stories are just that - stories about different things that are magic. The stories are "The Magic Hole", "The Magic Ax", "The Magic Joke", "The Magic Hot Dog", "The Magic Boots", and "The Magic Box". These are cute stories where each story has a lesson to be learned.
Here's a run-down of each of the stories so you know what to expect:
* The Magic Hole - This story starts with a young going to town to buy some rice for her family. On her way home, the bag seems to be getting lighter. When she gets home, she realizes that the rice was leaking out of the bag the entire way and she has none left. She looked in her bag and saw a hole. When her mother checked it to sew it up, the hole was gone. This kept happening throughout the story. The hole was there and then it would disappear.
Lesson = Make the best out of a bad situation.
* The Magic Ax - There is a boy who went to the forest with his father to cut some wood. Their family cuts wood to sell in order to make a living for their family. The boy gets distracted so much and his father gets angry with him. His father ends up hurting his leg and can't cut wood. The boy says that he will go and cut wood for his family alone. Unfortunately, he gets distracted again and doesn't get much wood cut. He finds a magic ax that cuts all the wood that he needs. He finds out that working hard makes his family proud and he wants that to continue.
Lesson = Hard work takes hard work.
* The Magic Joke - Two kingdoms are at war. Not that war isn't bad, but what was worse is that neither side remembers why they are fighting. The princess of one side wants to end the war. She argues with her father, the king, who wants to win the war. She runs off and finds a village where everyone is laughing. She sends her servant to find out what was going on. He ends up hearing the magic joke and can't stop laughing. The princess uses the magic joke to end the war. Warning - they do not tell you what the joke is. My son was upset about this. He wanted to hear the joke.
Lesson = Laughing can end arguments.
* The Magic Hot Dog - In this story, there is a boy will only eat hot dogs. He goes to the fair where he finds a man eating a hot dog. But, this was no ordinary hot dog. This hot dog never gets smaller. The boy ends up getting the hot dog, eating it, and then floats away.
Lesson = Too much of a good thing is not good
* The Magic Boots - Patty wanted Pixy boots because she read a book about pixies and wanted to be like them. Her mother takes her to a show store where the store keeper gives her shoes. Patty is unsure they are pixy boots because they don't have bells. She puts them on at home and starts acting mean. After Patty has an accident, the store keeper comes and switches her shoes. She had gotten goblin shoes at first.
Lesson = You are what you wear?
(This one was a little harder to figure out.
Let me know if you come up with a better one.)
* The Magic Box - This story is supposed to be the "true" story of Rumpelstiltskin. He changes gold to straw with his "magic" box. The box ended up not being magic, but a trick. He fooled all of the people and got rich. In the end, the people found out.
Lesson = You can only trick people for so long.
These stories are cute, but long. Looking at the 18-26 pages was overwhelming to our 3rd grader. He is a good reader, but his confidence isn't there. We ended up taking turns and reading every other paragraph. This way he still was practicing his reading, but didn't get too overwhelmed by the length. For some of the stories, we took a couple of days to complete them.
His favorite part was the maze. They put together a maze in order to check for comprehension of the story. I thought that this was an ingenious way to do this. There were a lot of questions, but he didn't mind because he was trying to make it out of the maze. Good thinking.
Here he is walking around talking to me about the questions. I would read them and then he would answer them.
There are other parts of this program as well. They have questions that they can write the answer to. Since he struggles with writing, we did these orally. There are word lists. I had him read these before we read the story. He reads better with context, so these were difficult for him.
I had some problems with this program. The stories were a little long for this age group. Some of their word lists didn't match up. There were some misspelled words as well as grammatical errors in the stories themselves.
This program is a downloadable product. I printed the pages that went with the story, but not the story itself. We read that on my computer. That way it saved paper and ink. Overall, our 3rd grader liked The Magic Stories by Allsaid & Dunn, LLC, publishers of The Reading Game and authors of the Wordly Wise series.
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