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Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers Paperback – Box set, May 1, 2006
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From timeless classics to new favorites, find children's books for every age and stage. See more
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"Forget Dick and Jane. Your beginning reader needs Bob Books® to succeed."
"Tiny enough to sneak in a very full diaper bag, we are enjoying them here, there, and everywhere." -- needsnewbatteries.blogspot.com
"They are a wonderful addition to a home library, school library, or a homeschool library. I love the smiles on my daughters' faces when they have succeeded in reading a book--that's priceless!" -- ourgaggleofgirls.com
"Bob Books® made our children into avid readers. Best investment I ever made."
-- The Lewiston Tribune
From the Author
You've prepared your child for reading - refrigerator magnets down low and easy to reach; letter sounds taught. Your child can proudly spell his or her name. Perhaps he can identify the "stop" and "open" signs as you drive in your car. He or she is ready for the next step into reading.
Inside the colorful box, the bright red cover beckons. On the first page, the letters:
M - a - t. Your child says the sounds: mmmmm, aaa, ttt. Then, faster: "Mat." Your youngster has read his first word! "Sam", "sat" and "on" complete the vocabulary, and suddenly your child can say, "I read the whole book!"® That is the magic of Bob Books®.
After 13 years of teaching 3, 4 and 5-year-olds, watching a child make that giant first step into reading still thrills me. The pride in their eyes, their triumphant grasp of a difficult concept, and opening their world to the excitement of books and reading, has brought me many years of satisfaction.
Bob Books® were specifically designed to facilitate that ah-ha moment, when letters first turn into words. By slowly introducing new letter sounds, using consistency and repetition, and stories that fit short attention spans, your child will quickly find his or her own ah-ha moment.
We wish your young learner much success and happiness as he or she enters the great adventure of reading.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bob Books come in 5 sets on 3 levels, and they cover the fundamentals of reading through about half of the Kindergarten level, which is lower than either of the other programs. Each set contains 8-12 books for the child to read, with a line or two of text per page.
Unlike many programs, there is little to no direction for the parent. However, they are carefully crafted to introduce the sounds in a systematic and maximally rewarding way, as well as carefully choosing sight words. The very first book requires that the child know the sounds of only four letters (M, A, S, T) and one sight word (on). The rest of the first set of 12 books (12 pages each) introduces the rest of the alphabet and short-vowel sounds, carefully reviewing everything learned, as well as a handful of high-utility sight words. The second set of 12 books (12 pages each) reinforces what was learned in the first set with more text per page, more plurals, more sight words, and a few blends. The second level begins with the third set, which has 10 books (16 pages each) and introduces more text, more blends, and some compound words, while the fourth set (4 with 16 pages and 4 with 24 pages) has more blends, more sight words, and long compound words. The final set, in the third level (4 with 16 pages and 4 with 24 pages), has longer stories and introduces long vowels.
The thing my son likes most is that I'm not telling him what to do most of the time, and he doesn't have to repeat books!
Some parents find that the level of progression slows after the first set, but we're going to do them all. It helps my son acquire speed and fluency painlessly.
This isn't sufficient to bring a child to the end of the Kindergarten level, but it gets them reading basic books very fast! Many people like the later part of Nora Gaydos' series to follow up. I will use an out-of-print series that I got from my aunt for free :-) called Scholastic Phonics Ready Readers (ISBN 0439325099 and others) starting with books 37. Afterwards, there are many classic early reader books that he can read, like Little Bear and Frog and Toad.
The only bad points: The words are handwritten, which means that despite the excellent handwriting, there is some inconsistency in spacing and letter shapes that will give some readers problems. Also, if your child likes to gaze for a l-o-n-g time at every picture, painless swifty becomes agaonizing. For that case, I recommend McGuffey's Eclectic Readers
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.