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Bob Books First! Level A, Set 1 (re-released as Bob Books Set 1- Beginning Readers) Paperback – Box set, April 1, 2000
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From the Author
Hello friends of Bob Books! John and I, proud grandparents, are happy to announce that our first grandchild has learned to read the books in Bob Book First!.
She was about 4 1/2 when the reading "light bulb" turned on. She loves to be read to, as always, but now she is proud that she can read to her little sister and to us. She will start kindergareten this fall.
We attribute Peggy's success to her mom who started early with magnetic letters on the refrigerator. She read everything from books to street signs to cereal boxes to her.
The Parent Teacher Guide enclosed in each set of Bob Books provides lots of information on what to expect and tips on getting ready to read. It is helpful before and during your child's reading experience.
After Bob Books First!, Bob Books Fun! keeps your reader confident by providing an easy transition to Bob Books Kids! Pals! and Wow! New skills are carefully chosen in each surprising and funny set. "I read the whole book!" are favorite words from Bob Books young readers. As a special treat, there are two cut out puppets and a real stage hidden in every box!
Happy reading from your friends,
Bobby and John Maslen
P.S. Bob Books Kids! contains two activity books for more challenge and fun.
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For example: "Cat on a mat" would be read by me as "Cat is fat" or A mat on a cat".
By the way, at the beginning of 1st grade the teacher called me at home and I was worried something happened at school, however she wanted to share that my child was a very good reader and asked me if I did anything to help, so I told her about the Bob books.
My son's are now in 7th and 8th grade and as I mentioned above, our 1st child was really behind in his reading skills in Kindergarten. He is now headed to high school next year. He is a straight A student, has taken 7 high school courses/credits and gets 5's on his FCATs in middle school and is currently reading "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William Shirer, this is not a book a middle school student would be expected to read but he can't put it down.
While he has many successful accomplishments not attributed to his reading skills, the items I mentioned above can be directly attributed to his love of reading. I still have his Bob's books and they are a treasure in our family. I recommend these books to all my friends and family with children headed to kindergarten. Please believe me when I say that NOTHING outside of our parenting has had as much of an impact as spending time with our boys learning to read and Bob's books was the tool that we used and would recommend. Eight years have past and they still remember learning to read with them.
I originally wrote this review 8 years ago regarding the books. My son's still have fond memories of them and love the books. They will be in my family for my boy's children. Here is the original review:
My son just started Kindergarten about 3 months ago, he just turned six. I had taught him chess, and many other logical skills (I'm an engineer) but neglected to nurture his reading needs. After his first semester review I was shocked to find out that he was struggling with is site words. The day I got home from his school I ordered all the Bob's Books.
My son started reading them almost immediately, in fact on evening he read 12 of them back to back. He went to bed to night begging to read some more, he had already read 9 of them, he wants to read the WOW books and he's working through the A and B series first. He recognizes his rapid reading skills and it's getting him really excited. It's amazing to see your child bouncing with excitement to get to read the next book.
It was stated in another review that your children won't learn on their own, but I disagree. My son rereads the books after we go through them. He even reads them to his four year old brother and he teaches him with the same skills that I used to teach him which makes him an even better reader.
Bottom line, my child learned to read multi-syllable words withing a week of receiving these books. I was very upset after leaving his first review at school, I felt like I had made a serious error in my kids education, these books turned it around. He came from being the worst reader in his class to the third best in just a couple of weeks, Amazing. BTW, these books help reinforce the site words used in the Kindergarten curriculum.
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-untility 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, ore 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.
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
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.