Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Imagination Station–Voyage with the Vikings

Book_1_JacketThe Imagination Station Book 1: Voyage with the Vikings
Written by Marianne Hering
Published at Tyndale

About the book

While visiting Mr. Whittaker at Whit's Soda Shoppe, Beth and Patrick find a mysterious letter in the Imagination Station requesting a Viking sunstone. The letter is old and says that someone named Albert will be imprisoned if the sunstone isn't found. Mr. Whittaker sends cousins Patrick and Beth to Greenland circa 1000. On their quest for the sunstone, the cousins meet Vikings Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson--and find the sunstone as they join Leif on his first voyage to North America. But the adventure is just beginning, for when they return to Mr. Whittaker's workshop with the sunstone, there is another note waiting for them, requesting a silver goblet.
Join Patrick and Beth as they continue their travel to various lands and time in the Imagination Station book series.

Who is Marianne Hering?

Marianne Hering is a prolific writer, having written hundreds of articles and a number of books for children and parents. For nine years she worked for several magazines in Focus on the Family's periodicals department and became the editor of Clubhouse, a Focus on the Family children's magazine with a circulation of over 100,000.

Marianne's book titles include two series for girls (Lights, Camera, Action; and White House Adventures) and a recent biography of William Bradford. Her most recent title is a compilation of activities from Clubhouse magazine, the Focus on the Family Clubhouse Family Activity Book.

As a mother of three children, Marianne is interested in parenting and education issues, including home schooling and tutoring reading. She graduated from Biola University (La Mirada, California) with a degree in psychology and has continued her education with courses in writing and editing. She and her husband, Doug, live in Colorado with their nine-year-old daughter, Danielle, and two-year-old twin sons, Justin and Kendrick.

Our Thoughts

My kids just don’t have enough of the Adventures in Odyssey program.   Every time we are in our truck driving somewhere they request it.   When we went to the swimming lessons, it was our weekly listening time with AIO.   Imagine my delight when I realized that AIO now have books linked to The Imagination Station.   I just knew the kids would enjoy them!

As a parent, I always take the habit of reading a book before my kids go through it.  But in this instance, I didn’t.   I knew that there was quality when it comes to AIO and Focus on the Family.   But I did grab the book one night, read about half of it before going to bed and read the rest early in the morning the next day.   I enjoyed the story even though it is clearly written for children ages 7 and up.    It does provide interesting information about the Vikings throughout the adventure.    Knowing that the story is Christian based is also giving peace of mind.    One thing that I particularly liked in this story is that the two main characters are a girl and a boy.  Consequently the story can be interesting for boys and girls.    Both character has an important role in the success of their mission.

Alexandre, my oldest, had a book review activity in his writing lesson to do this week.    And he picked the book Voyage with the Vikings for it.   So I have decided to include his book report in this review.

Voyage with the Vikings by Marianne Hering

In the story Voyage with the Vikings, the author is trying to tell you that kindness is better than evil.   The story starts out when Beth brings her cousin Patrick to Whit’s End to show him the imagination station and meet Mr. Whittaker.  In the middle of the story, Beth and Patrick are transported to the year 1000 to find a Sunstone before the full moon.  By the end of the story, the cousins had found the Sunstone and are brought back to the 21st century.  It was interesting to read more about the Vikings.

The books is about two cousins that are sent back in time during the Vikings period.   They need to find a Sunstone to save another character.  The author has included a mystery which helps the transition of the story.  The costume closet is a great addition to the story because it prepares the main characters for the adventure awaiting them.

Once Beth and Patrick arrives in Greenland, they encounter wild animals immediately.  Soon they will come face to face with Erik the Red and Leif Ericksson.  They are brought to the village and they participate to a feast where the Vikings are also playing chess.   Their search for the Sunstone continues.  When they found it, they discover it is too big  to be brought back.   I enjoyed learning about how the Vikings used the Sunstone throughout the year.

The cousins are able to go back in the century when they find a smaller sunstone.  However, before leaving, Patrick showed kindness to his enemy.   That reminded me of an Aesop’s Fables my younger brother was reading this morning titled “The North Wind and the Sun”.   the moral of that story is that kindness is better than force.

I liked reading Voyage with the Vikings and learned about the life of the Vikings.   I also thought it was interesting to know how they identified the seasons.   After reading this book, I want to read all the books in The Imagination Station series.

Even my 7 years old son who is becoming more comfortable with reading has requested to read the books.   Knowing that the book are based on a radio program we approved, it is easy to permit the kids to read them.    I do not hesitate to get AIO products for my kids because I know that in the end, they will learn important lessons through them. 

Voyage with the Vikings is available at your favourite bookstore, even

Disclaimer: I have received the above mentioned products for review purposes from Tyndale and Side Door Communication . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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