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Monday, January 17, 2011

BOB Books (Review and Giveaway!)

Winner of the BOB Books is Judy!


We have had our own set of BOB Books for quite some time, but these are books intended to help children learn to read, so I had set them aside so that my daughter would not memorize them.  I shared our initial experinence with BOB Books Set 1.  It was not an official review, just something that I wanted to share.  Since then, I have realized that reading one book a week is too much for my four year old; however, we have read the first four books in set 1!!  Just yesterday, she asked if she could read when the books were setting out.
Now I also have sets 2 and 3 for "official" review...and two sets to giveaway to a reader, too!!  Read on if you are interested in teaching your child to read (now or in the future) or if you would like to continue to support your child as an early reader through BOB Books.  My daughter is still working in Set 1, so the following review is based on my experience as a teacher and mother looking for a way to help my daughter learn to read.

BOB Books teach children to read using a phonics approach. New sounds are added very slowly so that children can review what they know and master it.  In Set 1 the short vowels of A, E, I, O, and U have are introduced, as well as some sight words.  (Sight words are words that cannot be sounded out, like was, the, to, saw, come.  In the BOB Books, long vowels that have not been introduced yet are also considered sight words.  Hi and go would be included in these long vowel words.)

BOB Books Set 2 is Advancing Beginners.  This set assumes that the child has successfully read Set 1 (or capable of reading set 1), and therefore can read words with short vowel sounds along with some sight words.  In Set 2 the sentences are getting longer, but there is still a lot of repitition.  Words with Z and I are introduced (X as an ending sound).  Set 2 uses three letter words and consistent vowel sounds with the slightly longer stories to reinforce what the child knows and to build confidence.  This set has 12 books.

BOB Books Set 3 is Word Families, but it isn't like the books rhyme.  This set is quite different than the first two sets, as it introduces consonant blends, word endings.  These stories are more complex, and yet they have a similar feel to the other BOB Books.  Eight story books are included in Set 3, plus two "activity" books for books 1-8.  These activity books act as workbooks, with the child drawing, writing, and coloring inside the book.

I recently realized that each of the BOB Books has on the back cover "Look for These Ideas:"  The ideas are suggestions for talking with the child about the story.  They give some nice tips and suggestions for the parent/teacher to ask the children.

There is a lot to like about BOB Books.  Here are some of my thoughts.

  • This is the only book set that uses only books to teach children to read that I know of that is friendly for parents that are not educators.   It is certainly not the only resource for teaching children to read, but it is a good one!
  • Phonics is taught in a systematic way (without the child knowing it).  The steps from one book to another are small, so a child is able to be successful.
  • The illustrations are simple line drawings with minimal color.  Some might say too simple, but it allows the child to focus on the words instead of the pictures.  Yet theses simple drawings convey emotion, including humor!
  • The font looks like handwriting which is very friendly for a child!  
  • Each set is clearly numbered and even color coded.  (My daughter has read the first four books in Set 1, and they are all red.  She knows that she can read any of the red books, but not the other colors yet.)
  • Each set has its own box.  What child doesn't like boxes?  It also helps a parent or teacher to keep the books and sets organized.   (I know this because my Set 1 books are used, and I do not have the box for them!)
A friend was looking at our BOB Books and was concerned about the covers not being sturdy enough, being paperback, for her daughter.  If your child is also hard on books you could take packaging tape and make the covers more durable.  It should also be noted that BOB Books are small.  They are similar in size to many of our board books.

My bottom line is that I definitely recommend BOB Books if you desire to teach your child to read at home in a casual way.  Of course, they are not necessary, but I do like the approach.  If your child attends school and is being taught to read there successfully, these may not be for you.  (If your child's school does not use a phonics approach, you might still be interested though.)  If you are interested, but not convinced, check your local library to see if they have BOB Books.  Keep in mind that they are not for reading to your child, but to give your child success in reading a book by himself or herself!  If your child is ready to begin reading, you probably already know, but there are some signs of reading readiness, too.  (For those of you who have an iPhone or similar product, you might be interested in the BOB Books app to try, too.)

Thanks to Scholastic and BOB Books, one reader will be able to choose two sets of BOB Books!
Giveaway is now closed.
To enter: Go to BOB Books and check out the sets available.  Come back and leave a comment about which two sets you would like if you win.  Please make sure I can contact you through your blog or leave an email address.  (You do not need a blog to enter.)  

Extra Entries:  Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
Follow Live, Learn, Love- 1 entry
Tell me what you are doing to help your child to read (even if your child is not ready). -1 entry
Tell me about other books that help the beginning reader to read successfully. -1 entry

Giveaway will be open from today and goes through Tuesday, January 25th.  I will contact the winner through email and also share the winner on this post.  The winner has 48 hours to get back to me or I will need to choose a different winner.

Thank you very much to Lynn Maslen Kertell from BOB Books for providing sets 2 and 3 for review purposes! 

62 comments:

The Activity Mom said...

I'd like sets 1 and 2 if we won. I also think it is neat that they have apps to go with them.

The Activity Mom said...

I'm a follower

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I would Prereading and set 1.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am following.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We have started looking for little words we know in stories.

Bluerose said...

If I won, I would want sets 1 and 2. We're thinking of homeschooling, so I would put these up until little man was ready.

Bluerose said...

I'm a follower.

Ticia said...

We'd want sets 1 and 2. More books can never hurt.....

Ticia said...

I follow

Ticia said...

Dr. Seuss books, in particular Green Eggs and Ham and Cat in the Hat.

Julie said...

Sets 1 and 2 for me. YAY!!!

Julie said...

I'm now an official stalker of your blog. ;o)

Julie said...

To help teach my son to read, I point out the words as I go along. He is also assigned a new word that he reads, as we go along in the book, each week. So, we add on to the previous week's word.

Julie said...

I think a beginning reader can learn to read on any book that he/she is interested in. It's holding their interest that's the key.

Carrie said...

Oh WoW! Yes! Count me in! And I would go with Sets 2 and 3 for, as you know, we already have Set 1. That would be awesome!

Thanks for hosting such an amazing giveaway!

Judy said...

I think I would choose sets one and two since my boys are so young.

judywhatilivefor at gmail dot com

Judy said...

I follow you via Google Friend Connect

judywhatilivefor at gmail dot com

Judy said...

I have tried to foster a love for reading in my children by reading to them regularly. I also enjoy reading books with the pictures mixed with text so they can feel like they're reading too...they get to contribute to what is happening.

judywhatilivefor at gmail dot com

Judy said...

I have tried to foster a love for reading in my children by reading to them regularly. I also enjoy reading books with the pictures mixed with text so they can feel like they're reading too...they get to contribute to what is happening.

judywhatilivefor at gmail dot com

Judy said...

Any book that has a lot of repetition seems to help my son the most because he can become better acquainted with certain words. I love Dr Seuss for this reason!

judywhatilivefor at gmail dot com

Shonda said...

I would choose the My First BOB books- pre reading skills and alphabet. shondaet@gmail.com

Shonda said...

I follow your blog. shondaet@gmail.com

Shonda said...

Right now we are just playing with letters and I'm teaching one letter every 2 weeks. We point letters out in books too. shondaet@gmail.com

Shonda said...

When I was a teacher we used the Saxon Phonics. I thought it was a good curriculum, but went very fast. shondaet@gmail.com

Sharon said...

Yippeeee! I would like the complex words books!

sharonsaad at gmail dot com

Sharon said...

I follow your blog.

sharonsaad at gmail dot com

Sharon said...

I use 100 easy lessons to teach reading right now. It is good for us. My son loves the little stories in each lesson.

sharonsaad at gmail dot com

Crystal said...

I would love set 1 and 2

Crystal said...

I follow your blog

A Joyful Chaos said...

I would love to have sets 1 and 2

ajoyfulnoise@live dot com

LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

I like set 1 and set 2 for beginning and advanced readers.

LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

We are practicing her letters with a preschool program on the computer and with a workbook. We also love to read books with her.

LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

I like the beginner reader set of Bible stories that we got at a book mobile. They are simple words and are actual readers. They are great. Even though my preschooler does not know how to read yet, she loves when I read these to her.

LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

I follow you blog via GFC. :)

karasceviour said...

I would like the set 1, and set 2. karasceviour at hotmail dot com

karasceviour said...

I follow you via GFC. karasceviour at hotmail dot com

karasceviour said...

Another thing I know of that is great for learning how to read is the "rocknlearn phonics" dvd's..It's not a book, but I was fortunate to have won one on a blog:), and my son LOVES it,,and I can tell it's helping!! karasceviour at hotmail dot com

Alisha said...

I have taught 3 children now on Bob Books with two more to go! I have set 1 and 2 but a book vanished out of 2 so I would choose 2 & 3!
Thanks!
alishamommyof5@gmail.com

ahads said...

I have 2 pre-reading age kids and one early reader, so many of the sets would work great for them! If I had to choose though, I would pick the Advance Beginners & Kindergarten sight words.

ahadsall at cox dot net

Veronika said...

We would love sets 1 and 2. I can be reached at esseilte at gmail dot com.

Thank you!

EaglesWings2004 said...

I would like Set 2 & 3- my oldest is halfway through set 1 and would love to be able to continue her in the series as it is working! This blog linked on here is active but I can't tell if you can see my email address as this blog isn't my primary one (eagleswings2004@gmail.com)

Erudition said...

We read for 20 mins. every day. We also created the game Erudition which we played several times a week focusing on both basic phonics (consonant and short vowel sounds) and sight words. Some great books: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Goodnight Moon, No, David, Where Are You Going My Friend?, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See and of course, Dr. Suess' books. Please check out my website for book reviews and additional informaiton on Erudition - www.sightwordsgame.com!

EaglesWings2004 said...

I am now following :)

EaglesWings2004 said...

To help my child read, I read her stories aloud, we read the BOB Books set 1, Hooked on Phonics books (K) and in everyday circumstnaces I help her figure out what things say- we try to have fun with it

EaglesWings2004 said...

The Hooked On Phonics books are good- though I don't endorse HoP, I think it has its place and the books are good- oh I forgot about the Leap Frog Series- the DVDs and then there is a book set- awesome too! Plus I like the step reader books

Quirky Momma said...

I love Bob Books too! And could really use sets 4 & 5 :)

Chris said...

I would love to win these! I've been waiting for a while to get them from on hold at our library. My kids have learned to read a variety of ways. My favorite way to help is just reading often to them, and pointing out words. Then we work on sounding them out.

Neufamilyblog said...

I would love set 1 & 2 for my son. He loves reading all kinds of books, especially ones with a funny story. :) neumelissa@yahoo.com

mommy days said...

I would love to win the Pre-Reading Skills and
Bob Books Set 1 - Beginning Readers for my little girl.

johnson.dony@gmail.com

mommy days said...

I follow ur blog. johnson.dony@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would love sets 1 and 2. We use Dr. Seuss books to help my son learn to read right now.
Jo Ann

Joeygirl38@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I'd like sets 4 and 5. Might get that app anyway =)
pam1966@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

We love the Bob Books and just started reading them. We would love Set 2 and Set 3.

Allison - allison.conta@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

what a great giveaway! i've looked at these books many times but have yet to purchase them. if i won, i would choose set 2-advanced beginners and sight words-kindergarten.

Lori
lwest81@aol.com

Sue said...

We would love to win the Listen and Read 1 and Listen and Read 2, because that is a great way to learn by hearing it, seeing it and then reading it.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win sets 1 and 2 for my three little kindergarteners!
shannajobe@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

my oldest has just turned 5, so we aren't exactly reading yet. but to help my kids get ready for reading, we first get them to love books. we start reading to them from the very beginning. we have books in every room of the house. we read a wide variety of books and listen to books on tape. we want to show them that the world opens up to them when they read. they can be anything, do anything, learn everything, all through books. getting them excited about the stories and loving books helps them want to learn to read.

Lori
lwest81@aol.com

Trena said...

If I won I would choose Alphabet (My First Bob Books)and Sight Words - Kindergarten.

raindrops9276@yahoo.com

Trena said...

Follow via GFC.

raindrops9276@yahoo.com

Trena said...

We read books every single day. With my oldest (who will start Kindergarten next year) I have her try to follow along with me and I will show her a word (a simple one) and we sound it out together and then she will do it on her own. When we come to that word again in the book I ask her if she remembers what it is and so on. She loves books just like me so we have a lot of fun doing it together. :)

raindrops9276@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

We used hooked on phonics and leapfrog products to help with learning to read. bellabertelli@hotmail.com

Mel said...

We read daily to our daughter. She uses her finger to follow the words & says the ones she knows. We also have words on sticky notes throught out the house and on a "word wall". We have the Bob Book Set 1 & the new kindergarten sight word set - which she LOVES! We'd love to add in sets 2 and 3 :)

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