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InsideStory Flashcards Review by Kathy Gelzer

InsideStory, LLC
PO Box 6969
Bellevue, WA 98008-0969

I received two boxes of flashcards to review: Cats and Dogs, and Animals. The boxes state on them that the sets are for ages 12 to adult, but I think younger children, especially those with an interest in pets, animals or nature, would find these fun and interesting. The cards measure 4 by 2 1/2 inches with rounded corners. The back of each card has the vocabulary word and its pronunciation printed on it. The vocabulary words are not specific to the animal kingdom; animal photos are merely the vehicle through which the words are explained. The photos are top quality and intriguing in and of themselves.

"Cats and Dogs" contains 60 cards (for $14.50) with words such as corroboration, ambivalent, and goad. These cards have a funny photo of a cat or dog in the middle with the vocabulary word, short definition, and a phrase using the word at the top of the card. Underneath the silly picture is a quote from the pet in the photo. For example, the word "dexterious" shows a kitty standing on its hind legs. The caption below is " put your right foot in and you shake it all about..." Many of the cards in this set are indeed hilarious.

"Animals" contains 52 cards and sells for $16.50. The top half of each card shows a photo of a particular animal (star-nosed mole, stoat, frilled lizard are some examples) in its natural habitat. The bottom half of the card has the vocabulary word, a concise definition, and a few sentence facts explaining how the vocabulary word is defined by the photo and the animal's behavior. For example, the word "entranced" is defined as "in a trance". Here is the accompanying text: "As a stoat closes in on a meal, it does a wiggling dance that appears to hypnotize its prey. The seemingly entranced victim may not flee until it's too late." Some of the words in this deck of flashcards are gregarious, acrid, and ploy.

I wish the flashcards had included a bit more information for a more complete knowledge of the word such as the part of speech.

No instructions or ideas are included for how to use the card sets. Are they to be used strictly as flashcards? Can they be used for games? If so, do the publishers have any suggestions?

InsideStory Flashcards could be used as stocking-stuffers, keeping kids busy while traveling, or as a fun way to work on vocabulary before annual test-taking time.

Product Review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2009