Normally we do narration in the Charlotte Mason style for our literature studies. We still do, but I wanted to try something new last year (2nd grade) to see how it compared. We tried out a couple of them: Little House In The Big Woods and The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook.
These are fairly straightforward as far as comprehension goes. It is basically, "what do you remember about the story?", at least at the level we used. There were no character study or higher-order thinking questions. Perhaps older levels of the guides incorporate deeper thought. Still, the comprehension questions would be useful for someone who wouldn't otherwise know "what to ask" to gauge the student's comprehension. I still prefer narration for this. They are also useful for students who are working independently on their reading. The pages are reproducible, so you can give your student a worksheet to complete on his or her own. We prefer reading time to be together-time, so I had Buttercup answer the questions orally instead.
What we really did enjoy about these guides were the "extras". Sprinkled throughout the guides are fun crafts, recipes, and activities to help bring the stories to life.
For example, the Milly-Molly-Mandy guide had paper dolls to color and cut, a map to trace the paths MMM took around her village, a recipe for blackberry pudding, a recipe for a hedgehog-shaped treat made from a chocolate-dipped pear (yum!), and instructions for making character faces out of construction paper.
The Little House in the Big Woods guide had instructions for making a corn-husk doll, a recipe making butter at home, and instructions for making an apple clove pomander, like the one Ma received for Christmas.
The side projects were a lot of fun. I picked up a few Veritas Press Comprehension Guides to use with our 3rd grade reading books.
For more information, visit http://www.veritaspress.com/curriculum/