Monday, November 29, 2010

My Animal Family book and DVD Review


Several weeks ago we received another item to review for The Old Schoolhouse.  This time, it was a book and DVD set from My Animal Family, about a small polar bear (named Nanuq) and his family.  How fun!  With beautiful illustrations, and an engaging story, the hard-back book was just down our alley.  We read it SEVERAL times that first day, and it is a treasure.  I really love the cute but realistic pictures in this book, and I would love to see the elephant one.... I know Baby Girl would get a kick out of it.  :)

When you add to that the short-but-sweet DVD, you have a great package.  The DVD contains real footage of Polar Bears from BBC, and it is narrated by Nanuq himself, through the voice of a child.  It isn't long, but it is filled with information about Polar Bears.   There is also a music video with one song and a section where you can learn more about the animals.  Since we have no television, I really like this cute little show.

PhotobucketWhen you purchase a book and DVD set from Smart Kids Publishing, you also get an access number for the website.  You are supposed to be able to play games and explore the animal's native habitat.  We received access initially, but later on the website seemed funky and we were not able to get it to work right.  That wasn't a big disappointment, however, since my children were not too impressed with the game in the first place.  When you first sign in you are given a character to dress and personalize, and that was pretty much the only part my children enjoyed.  The habitat itself seemed pretty small, and there were a few games scattered through it that the children could play, to earn points.  After they earned 4000 points they were supposed to be able to get to more of the habitat and new games, but Bop and CJ eventually gave up.  The games were not very engaging, and you had to do the same few games many, many times to get your 4000 points.

We also had several other problems and questions about the website, including how long you are allowed access with the purchase of a book.  One place said 6 months, one said 12 months, and the reviewers received one month.  It is not uncommen for reviewers to get a shorter time with a digital product, but I did not want to say that you get more time then is actually true, so I am just saying I do not know!  Several of the Crew contacted the company with this and other questions, and our Crew leaders also tried several times. None of us ever received an answer.

To sum it up, this is an excellent physical product.  High quality, great illustrations, and a sweet story.  At only $12.99 for the book and DVD set, buying this product for the set alone is not at all unreasonable.  If you are wanting a great game for your kids, I would skip this one.   I have considered purchasing another animal set from My Animal Family, since they have several more- but with their sketchy customer service, I don't know if I will.  You can see their other book sets at the My Animal Family store.

Be dure to go to The Old Schoolhouse Crew blog to read more reviews on this product, or go to the main blog page to see what else is happening!

I received this product free of charge
as a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew,
for review purposes. I promise to be honest
and fair in my reviews, and I received no
other compensation in exchange for my review.
to read more reviews on this product.

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