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CLOSED: Bob Books (and a Giveaway!)

Sweet Pea is 5 years old.

From:  Several people told me that “Bob Books” are fantastic for beginning readers, so when Sweet Pea started showing an interest in reading, I bought the first set for us to try.



  • Before your child tries to read the Bob Books, he should be showing signs of reading readiness.  For example, he should:
    1. Be able to handle a book correctly.  He should know to hold the book upright and be able to turn the pages by himself.
    2. Enjoy listening to stories.
    3. Have an understanding that written words convey information.
    4. Know the letter sounds .   Note that the  name of the letter (“A”) is NOT the same thing as the  phonemic letter sound (“ahhh”).   (Tad from the wonderful Leapfrog Letter Factory dvd sings, “The letter “A” says “ahhh!”)
  • Your child should be clearly interested learning to read.   Most children in the USA start learning to read at about 5 years old, although some do it a little earlier or a little later.  It is critical that you do not rush your child into reading.   Especially in beginning,  reading should be a fun and pleasant activity, not something that you have to force your child to do.  As Maria Montessori said, “Follow the child.
Carissa from 1+1+1=1 has a fantastic post that discusses reading readiness in more detail if you are still unsure if your tot is ready or not.


  • Sit somewhere cozy next to your tot and show him the set of Bob Books.
  • Take out the first book in the set.   Before you start reading the book, review the first page that shows the letter sounds which appear in the book and ask your child to say them to you.
  • Ask him if he can sound out the word on the first page.  The first booklet is a very easy and your child may be able to read the entire thing without any help.   If so, just let him read it.
  • If your child can not sound out the words, then try using the “I Read / You Read” approach:
    1. Read the first page to your child.  (“Mat”)
    2. Invite your child to re-read the first page back to you. (Say, “Now, do you want to read this page?” as you point to the word “Mat”.)
    3. Turn to the next page, read it, and then invite your tot to re-read it back to you.
    4. Repeat the “I Read / You Read” pattern for each page until you finish the book.

Observations:  These books are perfect for a very beginning reader.   Sweet Pea loved everything about them and we had a great time reading them together.

Sweet Pea was so proud to be able to read an entire book by herself!

I really liked the Bob Books, but I don’t think that these books work as an independent activity.  If your reader is just starting out, then they will be unsure enough about some words that you will need to sit right by them and help them (which is fine!).  But, if they already know how to read a little bit, then these books will be too easy.  We found them exactly perfect for a very narrow, but critical, window when Sweet Pea was starting to learn to read.

I would highly recommend Bob Books, Set 1 for all very early beginning readers.

Notes from the Trenches:  I think it helped to keep Sweet Pea excited to read the next book in the set because I limited her to 1 new book per day.   I would highly recommend making your reading sessions short to keep your tot from growing board or anxious.

As I said earlier, Bob Books are for very very beginning readers.  So if your child can already read, then I these books will clearly be too easy for him.   I have read very few complaints about Bob Books, but the main one seems to be that the stories are too simple.  We tried another set of beginning reader books, which did have better stories, but the words got too difficult very rapidly.  So, the thing people tend to dislike about Bob Books, the simplicity,  is the exact thing that makes them so great for beginning readers.

I thought the blog Teaching Reading with Bob Books looked very interesting.  It was a bit too involved for our purposes, but you might want to check it out if you are interested in homeschooling / actually teaching your child to read.

Rating: 2 Stars * (Fun, Easy)


The Giveaway is now closed.  JenRay was the winner.

Since we are done with set 1 of the Bob Books, I thought I would give them away to my loyal readers.

How to Enter:  Just submit a comment below telling me the title of your favorite children’s book.  

The Fine Print: This giveaway is for one (slightly used)  box of  Bob Books, Set 1.   You must leave a valid email when you submit your comment so that I can contact you in the event that you win the contest.   I am using to select the winning comment number from all of the valid entries.  This contest is open to continental U.S. residents only.  The deadline for entry is Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time. Winners will be contacted and announced shortly thereafter.

23 comments to CLOSED: Bob Books (and a Giveaway!)

  • First of all THANK YOU! for using and not rafflecopter!
    My favorite children’s book is Harold and the Purple Crayon.
    Have a great day!

  • My favorite Children’s book was Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

  • Melissa

    I just heard about these books too and put them on our Christmas list for the grandparents. As a former teacher turned SAHM I think they’d be great for my 4 1/2 year old to get ready for kinder. My favorite book is The Giving Tree.

  • Stephanie

    I am ready to start using these with my 5 yr old son whose in Kindergarten. I borrowed a set to use with my daughter a couple years ago, and they were a success. My favorite book is Green Eggs and Ham. I never tire of reading Dr. Seuss

  • Dony

    Currently my favorite book is No David! by David Shannon.

  • That is very sweet of you to give them away. Favorite book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

  • Christina

    I have been keeping my eye on these and I know my son will be ready for them within the next few months. I appreciate the review. I wasn’t sure if they were as great as I had heard.
    I have a ton of favorite children’s books but one that I can’t wait for my son to discover is “When I Was a Boy… I Dreamed” by Justin Mattot. (He has a “When I was a Girl… I Dreamed” as well.) The illustrations are beautiful too!

  • Tanya M

    I really like Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  • JenRay

    I didn’t use this with my daughter – it seemed like a narrow window of usefulness, and she just took off so quickly with her reading. But I have heard great things about them, and I have a younger child just learning letters and sounds, and I’d love to try them with him. Thanks for the chance to win them! It is hard to choose a favorite, but I am going to go with Charlotte’s Web. My 5-year-old daughter is currently obsessed with reading my old copy!

  • My favorite children’s book is a collection of Little Red Train stories by Benedict Blathwayt. (My boys love trains and the stories/illustrations are high quality).

  • Amanda Warrick

    I would love these! I love to find easy readers or reading-prep books, and have one that is mastering reading, but still likes to take it slow sometimes, and three more behind him yet to learn! We have so many favorites, it’s so hard to choose, but Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama book collection comes to mind, as does ‘There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly’.

  • Deana

    The book my girls and I like to read together is “Little Hoot” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jan Corace. The two other books in the set (“Little Pea” and “Little Oink”) are also great. Simple story, and clever illustrations that make me giggle like Little Oink using a fork and knife to eat at the trough.

  • Shannon

    These books look great for my little guy who is FINALLY showing some reading readiness signs! Thanks for hosting a giveaway and for always sharing your great ideas! This is such a hard choice, but I’d have to say my favorite children’s book right now is The Kissing Hand.

  • Vaughn

    My favorite children’s book–wow! Hard to choose just one! We really enjoy the 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury because it has a ton of classic stories all mish-mashed up in one amazing book! Thank you for the giveaway; BOB books sound like a cool option!

  • I have three kids ages 4, 6 & 8 and they all have different faves!! Mom’s favorites include Gigi God’s Little Princess, Brave Young Knight and The Boy who Changed the World!!

  • Thank you for offering your books in a give-away. As a new school with limited finances we would love to win this set of books. Our favorite book as a class right now is The Children’s Beginner Bible. We read from it every day.

  • Alana F.

    Thanks for the very thorough review & giveaway! There are so many great books, but one of my favorites as a kid was Katy No Pockets.

  • Sabrina

    What a wonderful giveaway! My favorite book as a child was Corduroy.

  • We are using this set of BOB books with our little girl and absolutely love them! So I am not entering the contest, but wanted to share a really fun extension activity we made based on the BOB books. I made 4 dices with words from the BOB series written on all sides of the dices and then children throw the dice and arrange them into a sentence. Instructions here and other phonics activities:

  • Robin Carter

    I dont remember what my favorite book was when I was a child but i love reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to my girls.

  • Danielle

    I love the Bob Books collection. I have borrowed them from my local library to help my niece with her reading. Now that my 3 year old is showing an interest in reading I plan on buying or winning =) =) this set! My favorite childhood book is “The boy who cried wolf,” This book is fantastic when teaching morals or demonstrating right from wrong.

  • Robin

    A beautiful book we love is Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.

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