Grades K-2

Ready for Reading! A Learn-to-Read Series, Set 2 (Caterpillar Books)

Book cover: 'Ready for Reading! A Learn-to-Read Series, Set 2'
Author(s): 
Laura Callahan Busch

In a similar fashion to the first set, these books offer additional, more advanced, reader/activity books that combine practice of lots of phonics based words with a number of sight words (some of the sight words could be learned phonetically later on). By the time the child is finished with this second series, he will have practiced 62 phonics-based words (such as Dad, jet, him, stop and bug) and 25 sight words (such as love, you, the, Mommy and room).

Ready for Reading! A Learn-to-Read Series, Set 1 (Ant Books)

Book cover: 'Ready for Reading! A Learn-to-Read Series, Set 1'
Author(s): 
Laura Callahan Busch

This beginning reader set provides young students with small activity booklet/readers that can be read at a very primary level. The author combines simple words that can be read phonetically with one or two sight words in each booklet that the child will learn to recognize (words like: "look", "go" and "the"). I thought the illustrations were more appealing than those found in the Bob Books.

Little Stories for Little Folks

Book cover: 'Little Stories for Little Folks: Catholic Phonics Readers'
Author(s): 
Nancy Nicholson

Little Stories for Little Folks is a Catholic phonics readers set that offers an inexpensive alternative to the Bob Books. The entire Bob Books set (5 sets of booklets retailing for approximately $15 each) costs about $75 retail. In contrast, Little Stories for Little Folks costs about $25 for the whole program. While the Bob Books and other readers might turn out to be helpful for some families (and are available at some libraries), many families have been very grateful for this charming Catholic set at such a good price.

Little Angel Readers

Book cover: 'Little Angel Readers'
Author(s): 
Linda Bromeier

The Little Angels Series are four soft cover readers that teach all phonics sounds using word drill pages and phonetic stories. It teaches letter-sound relationships systematically, beginning with the easiest letter sounds. The word drill pages provide practice in decoding words containing the letter sounds. The stories with phonetically-controlled vocabulary follow each word drill page. They provide practice in decoding words in context and build comprehension skills. The stories are about Catholic family life, Bible stories, and Saint stories as well as fables and folk tales.

Bob Books Wow!

Book cover: 'Bob Books Wow!'
Author(s): 
Bobby Lynn Maslen

Formerly titled Even More Bob Books

Bob Books Pals!

Book cover: 'Bob Books Pals!'
Author(s): 
Bobby Lynn Maslen

Formerly titled More Bob Books
This series provides practice lots of with two-letter consonant blends (such as "nt", "nd" and "dr"). Book six introduces words with long vowels ending with a silent "e". The books increase in number of pages and number of text lines on each page quite a bit as this particular set progresses. While using this series with my daughter, we started running through the phonogram cards (from The Writing Road to Reading) each day. I introduced (and explained) spelling rules as they came up in the stories from this set.

Bob Books Kids!

Book cover: 'Bob Books Kids!'
Author(s): 
Bobby Lynn Maslen

Formerly titled Bob Books Plus!
I did not have this set when teaching my daughter to read, but have just started using it with my son (we picked it up at Sam's Club at a discount and thought it would be helpful for additional reading practice and confidence-building). The stories include practice of words ending in "y" and "ed" and the introduction of more two and three letter phonograms.

Bob Books Fun!

Book cover: 'Bob Books Fun!'
Author(s): 
Bobby Lynn Maslen

This second set was just released and wasn't around when I taught my oldest to read. Although she did fine without it, I thought that the additional practice on this basic level was very helpful for my son (who has just finished this second set). Like the first set, the stories are designed entirely for the purpose of practicing beginning reading skills by introducing sounds in an intelligent order. The stories are very simple and usually quite silly. This set does introduce several two-letter phonograms - "ar" (book 3), "aw" (book 3) "ow" (book 4), "ou" (book 7), "oo" (book 12).

Bob Books First!

Book cover: 'Bob Books First!'
Author(s): 
Bobby Lynn Maslen

In this first set (originally titled simply "Bob Books"), the stories start out very easy (words like Bob, Sam, sat, etc.) and very gradually increase in difficulty. All letters are introduced except "Q" and the stories are made up almost entirely of three-letter-words. We found the pace and order in which new words were introduced to be very helpful. We have used the Bob Books to teach two of our children to read. They were both interested in learning to read when they were four years old.

Bob Books

Author(s): 
Bobby Lynn Maslen

The Bob Books and subsequent titles (five sets of small reading booklets in all) are sets of very small, stapled booklets with black and white line drawings and colorful covers, which contain very simple stories. They are approximately $15 per set (although I've seen them at Sam's Club and Half-Price books for less). Each set comes in a colorful box with two little cardboard finger puppets and a cardboard puppet theatre.

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