MotherTalk book review: Bob Books for Beginning Readers

by DaniGirl on September 10, 2007 · 5 comments

in Books, Tristan

I have a confession to make. I didn’t read a single book in the boxed set I’m supposed to be reviewing today for my stop on MotherTalk’s Bob Books blog tour. In fact, I had them read to me – by Tristan, my five year old son.

(pause for gasps of delight and surprise)

Yep, it’s true. Neither one of us imagined he could read a whole sentence, let alone an entire book, and yet by the end of the first day, HE had read to ME not one, not two, not even four, but FIVE books of the twelve book boxed set. And they say boys tend to have trouble with reading!

BOB booksThe Bob Books are designed for beginning readers. Each book in the set of 12 introduces a few new letters and increasingly complex sentence structures. The letters seem to roughly follow the same introduction schedule as the Jolly Phonics program they’ve been using at Tristan’s school – first M and S and A, then D and B, then G and H, etc. Book one starts with simple constructions like “Mat sat.” By the fifth book, he was sounding out full sentences like, “Dot and Mit sit on a mat.” A little thin on plot, maybe, and they lacked character development. But it was really something to watch Tristan sound out new words and assimilate familiar ones with only a little bit of coaching from me, and the look in his eyes as he realized he was actually reading was truly a great moment in my parenting career. His attention span is a little sketchy sometimes, so I was delighted when we finished one book and then another and he continued to ask me if we could keep reading. It was his idea to continue through the box, not mine, and he was eager to continue reading books to Beloved the next night at bedtime, too.

It was also a good way for me to see where we might have to do a little more work. He was having trouble distinguishing between a lower case “n” and “h” for a bit, and confusing his “b” and “d” (I’ll give it a bit before I start to panic about dyslexia, which does run rather rampant though my family.) Like his mother, he wants to be able to rush ahead without actually reading the letters themselves, and I had to keep reminding him to slow down and read the words and not just guess based on the picture. “Trust the letters,” I told him. “The pictures can be tricky, but the letters will always tell you the truth.” I was really astonished at how quickly he assimilated entire words. By the end of the fifth book, he didn’t have to stop to sound out “the” or “and” or “is”.

I was really impressed by the first set of Bob books, and was pleased to see that there are four additional sets we can work through. (You can read more about them on the official Bob Books website.) Might be a good way for me to invest the $20 Amazon.com gift certificate I’ll be getting for this MotherTalk sponsored review!


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 colleen September 10, 2007 at 9:18 am

I’m an older person! and still have problems with “b” and “d”. Always thought they should be capitalized as then they are not confusing.

2 colleen September 10, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Forgot to say that when I was younger I sorted out my “b” and “d” by thinking of the word bed which looks like a bed …. with some imagination. Worked for me every time.

3 Loukia September 11, 2007 at 1:50 pm

Way to go! You must be a very proud mom. That’s wonderful of Tristin. My son has always had an interest in books and reading, since he was 3 months old. I remember he was 3 months old because it was during the time he was in CHEO and he loved looking at and be read books. Now, books and reading time is his favourite thing to do… that and playing with all his diggers and cement mixers, etc. He already says and recognizes many letters, including B, D, O, M, C, E. He’ll yell the letters out if we’re driving past a store with the letters. (Only caps so far… ) but I’m a super proud mom already!

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