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Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers

  • Weight - 0.6
  • Depth - 5.50
  • Width - 4.25
  • Height - 0.13
Teach a child letter sounds with Bob Books Set 1! With four letters in the first story, children can read a whole book. Consistent new sounds are added gradually, until young readers have read books with all letters of the alphabet (except Q). Short vowels and three-letter words in simple sentences make Bob Books Set 1 a fun confidence builder. With little books, come big success. (TM)

List Price: $ 16.99 Price: $ 10.55

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What customers say about Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers?

  1. 277 of 287 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great way to get reading fast!, August 12, 2006

    This review is from: Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers (Paperback)
    To see more reviews, check out the item in its previous packaging (the content has not changed) by looking up ISBN 0439145449.

    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

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  2. 1,397 of 1,533 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    My original review has changed…, August 13, 2007
    M. Beyer (MA, United States) –

    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.

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  3. 163 of 187 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    This review is from: Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers (Paperback)
    When it comes to learning how to read, there are 2 ways of teaching your child:

    1. You start your child with the basic phonics and slowly work your way up. This approach is mostly phonics-based. It’s the philosophy behind reading programs such as Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read, The Berenstain Bears Phonics Fun or the Bob Books.


    2. You have your child learn hundreds of words randomly (sight words, phonics, plain memorization, etc). The aim is to have them recognize hundreds of words as they open any book (especially sight words which make up 75% of Elementary school text). This is the philosophy behind reading systems such as Little Champion Reader system. A child learns how to read in a manner similar to how they learned how to speak a language. First there are a few words, then there are bigger chunks of phrases and finally there are fluent sentences.

    I have done some research on both ways and here is my conclusion:

    — The first method is probably the most common as it’s more simplistic in its concept. The main advantage is that it helps build a child’s confidence in reading right from the start and helps parents visualize the end goal (based on the difficulty of the ending books). The main drawback of this method is that it limits a child’s reading to the ‘Bob’ or other phonics books only – it doesn’t make a child equally confident about reading the regular books they may see in the library or at school. Eventually, a parent will have to help a child learn to decipher the words that were not taught in the Bob Books.

    — The second method may sound a bit harder in the beginning, but it has more advantages in the long run (in my opinion). Your child learns the main sight words (200+) plus a basic phonetic understanding, and are encouraged to read the ‘regular’ library/school books right from the start. Initially the number of words they recognize is a handful, but soon they start recognizing more words (mainly sight words which make up 75 percent of reading text). I know phonics is important but knowing these sight words is equally (if not more) important. The beginning of this method may be harder since it requires more parent-input, but it makes the process of reading a lot easier in the long run. Slowly your child’s fluency keeps increasing, going from recognizing 30 percent of text to 80 percent (for example).

    — In my opinion, the process of reading is very similar to learning how to speak. There is an initial delay, a period when the child is ‘absorbing’ all the patterns of language. Soon there comes a time when the child is able to magically decipher the entire language, which is quite an accomplishment. We as parents don’t limit a child’s vocabulary to just easy words – instead we expose them to a whole range of words, whether easy or difficult, with the trust that they will pick up the entire language in a matter of months/years. So why not do the same when it comes to teaching them how to read? Children are amazing learners and can soon figure out whatever they are exposed to, even if it is difficult and challenging.

    In conclusion, I would rather hand my child a regular book (which is quite easy and of his/her liking), let him/her master it fully; then keep moving on to more difficult books, as opposed to limiting them to just one range of phonics books and again start all over with the ‘regular’ books.

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