898 of 977 people found the following review helpful
My original review has changed...,
This review is from: Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers (Paperback)I have to admit, when I first got the Bob Books for my son, I was very excited about them. I thought the gradual pace of vowel and consonant introduction would make reading easier and give a natural progression. My 4-year old son read the first 3 or 4 books in the series, we were both excited, and all was well. I was thinking 4 or 5 stars.
Then within a week, my son refused to read the books. I knew that he could - he was certainly capable - but anytime I mentioned them, he would whine, complain and tell me that he didn't want to. This from the boy who is a book nut and would have me read to him 24-7 if possible! He would sit with me so I could read other books to him, and even try to read them himself, but wanted nothing to do with the Bob Books. This went on for months with the same response.
It wasn't until I started doing a bunch of literacy reading and research for my job that I realized the probable reason why the Bob Books are gathering dust on our shelves when all of the other books are well loved. They are dull. They are boring and can hardly be qualified as stories. Does anyone really talk like that? "Mat sat. Cat sat. Mat and cat sat." No wonder he would rather I read him books like "The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales" by Heather Amery or "Frederick" by Leo Lionni or classic tales like "The Gingerbread Man" or "The Fox and the Crow."
In my research, I came across two books that I highly recommend to anyone who wants their child to learn to read. These are "The Read Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease and "Reading Magic" by Mem Fox. Trelease talks about the pleasure aspect of reading - humans want to do things that give them pleasure and shy away from things that don't, it's just human nature. When we make reading more of a chore for a child or give them boring books to read, we are taking away that aspect of pleasure that will make them want to read.
A national committee called the Commission on Reading (funded by the US Dept of Education) did a 2-year study of thousand of research projects related to reading. Their report had two primary findings. The first is that the single most important activity to build success in reading is to read aloud to your children. The second is to continue reading aloud to them throughout the grades. (Yep, that means through high school, not just until they can read themselves.)
So choose books and stories for your children that they will enjoy - and that you will enjoy! Build their library and read to them as often as you can - in the morning, before bed, while they are eating lunch, while they play in the tub, use books on CD in the car, etc. If you don't know where to start, "The Read Aloud Handbook" has a list of over 1000 suggested titles in various categories to read to children. My son was reading at just over 4 years old and, other than the Bob Books failure, all I ever did was read to him. And read and read.
Tracked by 7 customers
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 16, 2007 5:55:11 PM PDT
K. Davis says:
Posted on Oct 22, 2007 1:21:46 PM PDT
Thank you for the wonderful explanation of why you didn't like Bob books. It was very helpful to me.
Posted on Oct 26, 2007 3:22:41 PM PDT
A. Gaskin says:
These books were not designed to be read aloud by a parent. They're wonderful for introducing your child to reading on his/her own, but not as a bedtime story. I left these out for my daughter, who was learning to "sound it out" and she picked them up and read them on her own one day, without me even asking her to try. They fit much better into an unschooling/Montessori environment rather than a curriculum.
Posted on Nov 18, 2007 8:56:43 AM PST
I hear what you're saying, but so many kids love these books and making them simple from the get-go is important. I'm going to check out the books that you mentioned, however, I must say that I can't help but wondering if your child felt pressured into reading the Bob books and that is why he no longer wanted to read them? This is just a thought I had when reading your post and how resistant your child became after a while. My three best friends are an elementary teacher, a school psychologist (with a phd) and a speech path. They all say that parents are stressing children out these days by pressuring them to read and also learn their letters prior to when they're ready. When this happens, the children become resistant to learning whatever it is their parents are expecting them to learn. The same goes for potty-training. You need to wait until a child is fully ready or they may regress. This is just a thought. Everyone I know cannot say enough good things about these books.
Posted on Mar 6, 2008 12:41:54 PM PST
M. Edwards says:
I concur with you whole heartedly in regards to the Bob's Books. My son is four as well and is a beginner reader (still sounds words out.) We have sight word books he chooses to read over and over again, because they're more challenging and offer more variety and better humor versus these books. I have three sets of Bob's Books that I bought on a recommendation, ugh! What a mistake, and they sit even though my son has full access to all of his books. He would rather try and read one of my books before reading a Bob Book. Now that I think of it, I'd rather read a Dick and Jane book versus a Bob Book. I'm serious.
Posted on Apr 10, 2008 12:58:30 PM PDT
L. Ormond says:
I work at the youth department in a public library and 95% of parents (note: parents, NOT kids) love these... yes, they are kind of dull, but to be fair, many kids have learned to read using these and they are great for building initial confidence in reading. Most kids very quickly move on to something more interesting. I really appreciated this review for emphasizing the need to read aloud during one's entire life...it really makes the difference in becoming hooked on books. Bottom line, read to your child and eventually, they will read to you --- regardless of the book!! : )
Posted on Apr 26, 2008 7:49:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2008 7:53:18 PM PDT
A Reviewer says:
Posted on Aug 4, 2008 7:21:26 AM PDT
C. Martin says:
Most of today's parents learned to read from basic phonics texts (The wet pet, get the wet pet, the cat sat). They are still a valuable learning tool today. Thank goodness they returned phonics to the public schools!
I understand the author's boredom with the books, but she seems to be in the minority.
Posted on Sep 18, 2008 3:04:15 PM PDT
B. Ricks says:
The purpose of these books is for emerging readers to practice fluency and initial sound/letter recognition and are an excellent resource for parents looking to reinforce and practice the skills their children are learning in school. The other books mentioned are great for a parent to read to the child, but if you want a child to practice oral reading fluency and read to you, then the Bob books are at the appropriate instructional level. If you want to discuss story elements, characters, setting, then choose something with those elements. Keep in mind that while a book like Frederick by Lionni will make for great talk, it will be frustrating for an emerging reader who needs to practice phonemic skills.
Posted on Nov 11, 2008 8:30:06 PM PST
Kirk J. Vukonich says:
Great points. It is amazing how little toddlers like classic full length stories that contain all the difficult words that we'd think would bore them (i.e., Winnie the pooh, Beatrix Potter, etc.) In the end, it is the dumbed-down books such as these that bore them and offer no challenge or mental stimulation; though, perhaps these books would work well with children who have had no significant reading time in their early years.