Friday, January 27, 2012

21. 101 Puzzle Quizzes by The Grabarchuk Family

101 Puzzle Quizzes by The Grabarchuk Family (Kindle Only)
Pages: 2753 KB
Ages: ALL AGES (best 10+)
Finished: ongoing
First Published: Aug. 22, 2011
Publisher: Grabarchuk Puzzles
Genre: puzzles, games
Rating: 5/5

Acquired: Received an ebook review copy from Grabarchuk Puzzles.

Reason for Reading: When I first took a look at what this puzzle book was all about, what made it unique, I was very intrigued; especially on behalf of my 11yo autistic son.

Publisher's Summary: "In this brand-new puzzle collection you will find 101 pictorial, hand-crafted puzzle quizzes in different themes: visual, spatial, counting, geometry, matchstick, coins, searching, and much more. You can interactively answer and check a puzzle quiz by clicking the respective answer button. Only the correct answer leads to the solution page. The collection is specially created for all kinds of solvers - beginners, skillful, and expert alike. The puzzles are arranged so that you start with the easy (*) puzzles and progress to the hard (*****) puzzles."

When I first saw this book I was thrilled that the puzzles were visual and spatial, involved counting and searching.  Most puzzle books are at least 50% word puzzles and therefore inappropriate for my son as he is autistic and has major learning disabilities when it comes to reading, writing and spelling.  These puzzles are the perfect thing for him.  First of all there is one puzzle per page, no clutter.   They are in colour which may mean colourful or simply the use of one or two colours on a page, pleasing to the eye but not distracting.  They are interactive.  Each puzzle gives you a multiple choice answer.  You pick the one you think is correct and if you are right you're taken to the solution page with a detailed explanation of how the puzzle was solved (in case you just guessed!)  But if you are wrong, you are taken to a sad emoticon and told to go back to the puzzle.  There is no way to cheat and peak at the answer!

The various different kinds of puzzles repeat themselves throughout the book so once you get the hang of it you actually get better at them as they get harder.  For example there are many pattern puzzles.  Finding the next one in a pattern, picking which one doesn't belong with the others based on pattern and picking which 2 match each other due to patterns.  Items can be rotated or flipped and while the first ones get you comfortable with the puzzle type you are ready for the harder ones when they eventually come along.

My son took to this book right.  Being autistic it is hard finding puzzles for him to enjoy, but he loved these.  One, he didn't have to use a pencil, two, it was almost like playing on the computer, three, he could actually figure them out and four, they were fun!  Using patterns, counting, visuals, spatials, etc. these have targeted his brain in the exact way that it likes to work.  At first I had to get him not to just guess which was the answer but stop and figure it out but he was thrilled that he could get them right.

Myself, I also am on the spectrum, having Asperger's and I've been having a ball with this book as well. I can figure out most of the puzzles, some take that extra thought but I've found that my weakness is in the geometry area.  I'm hopeless with the area puzzles once they became complicated shapes and also the paperfolding to create a certain shape.  Otherwise my son and I are complimenting each other well in finding the solutions and have found these to be perfect for the Autistic person who is not able to do traditional word puzzles such as crosswords, word scrambles, fill-ins, wordsearches, etc.  These books would also make a great morning exercise to get brains warmed up in the classroom of upper elementary to highschool.  The puzzles do get hard/tricky once you hit the mid-point!  I will certainly be going back to buy 100 Puzzle Quizzes after I've completed this one. You can't go wrong for $4.99!

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