Alphabet (My First Bob Books) by Sue Hendra and John R Maslen

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Alphabet (My First Bob Books) by Sue Hendra and John R Maslen

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: The poor man's Hooked On Phonics.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 144 Date: August 2008
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0545019217

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BOB Books are designed to teach children to read through phonics. I do own several different phonics programmes, and this is one of the best. I feel it is comparable to Hooked On Phonics at a fraction of the price. Another advantage to these books is that you do not need to buy the whole programme in one go. You can buy each set as you need it, and most sets will take at least one term to complete.

This set of books teaches the alphabet and phonemes. In all honesty, we do have many alphabet books that are more fun. We have ones with pop-ups and all sorts of different styles of illustrations. We have alphabet books with animals, bugs, dinosaurs, zombies, vampires, naughty children and so many other fun topics. I honestly cannot say I have any books that are more effective for teaching the alphabet than these though, and these teach not only letter names, but letter sounds as well through the heavy usage of alliteration and matching illustrations which will quickly encourage the child to associate the letter with the picture, word and sound.

These books are deceptively simple Each 7 book has only 12 pages. Most of these will combine two letters, such as The AB Book. A full page is given to each upper case and lower page letter with a very large letter in colour and a simple black and white line drawing. The pictures certainly do not compare to some of the beautiful paintings in my dinosaur ABC books, or skilled paper craft in books like ABC & Do. But while the illustration is the primary object of focus in most books, the readers focus is immediately drawn to the letter in this set. Then as we say the letter, the sound and the word, we noticed the rest of the picture. After each letter, there are two pages with sentences focusing on that letter, such as alligators eat apples. At the end of the book there are two more pages which tie up the short story and repeats a number of words from earlier in the book. Where vowels are featured, the soft vowel sound will be used as this is always the first sound taught in phonetic reading instruction.

Each book has a very limited number of words. The first book has 13 A and B words plus 9 other words. The additional words tend to be very easy, high frequency words such as a and for, but a few of the featured letter words will be more difficult for a child to read alone. Of course this set is intended to be read to a child, but I think it will be quite useful for early reading by the child as well.

These books are really more like booklets than proper books. They are constructed of 6 pages and a card cover, folded in half and stitched together. The printing process is simple as well, only two colours per book, black and one other shade on white paper. Because so few words are used - I don't think the stories are very much fun either. But who cares what I think? My child loves them. An adult's opinion is really irrelevant in this case. True these do not really have a complex story line, but my son does find them entertaining and he enjoys the sense of accomplishment of being able to read a few of the words in this set, and the first few books in the next set himself. Learning to read is such as an accomplishment for a child. These books really give children a sense of confidence. Two weeks ago my son despaired that he'd never be able to read. Now he is beaming with pride as he takes his first steps to literacy.

This set is not a complete learn to read programme. I would strongly suggest combining this set with BOB Books First by Bobby Lynn Maslen, and other sets will be needed as your child progresses. But with several hundreds of pounds invested in phonics programmes, I can say this is one of the very best sets on the market. and the most affordable. I really can not recommend this set highly enough, or the series as whole.

If this book might be useful you might also like to look at:

ABC and Do by Lee Singh and Karen Wall

Smart Read Easy by Margaret Henderson Smith

Buy Alphabet (My First Bob Books) by Sue Hendra and John R Maslen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Alphabet (My First Bob Books) by Sue Hendra and John R Maslen at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Alphabet (My First Bob Books) by Sue Hendra and John R Maslen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Alphabet (My First Bob Books) by Sue Hendra and John R Maslen at Amazon.com.


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