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Product Review: Bob Books

What Liza Says About Bob Books…

STORY QUALITY: Fair

PICTURE QUALITY: Fair

VOCABULARY: Good

3 Stars!

Bob Books are a good educational tool.  They are not my first choice, although I have used them with my children when I needed some additional material.

Story Quality

Each set of Bob Books has a specific literary focus such as “long vowel sounds” or “complex words”.  This provides very good vocabulary and phonetic learning approach although it also limits the story in variety and development.  What these stories lack is engagement.  For the most part the story is as simplistic as the pictures.  Not a lot of depth or development.

Excerpt from Bob Books Set 1: Beginning Readers, Book 10: Peg and Ted.
Excerpt from Bob Books Set 1: Beginning Readers, Book 10: Peg and Ted.

Picture Quality

The drawings in these books are simplistic.  They are basic pencil drawings.  There is some color, usually one color per story, and it’s usually used as a highlight.  The drawings are mostly black and white.  The pictures follow the story well and give fairly good visual cues.  The visual cues would be much better if there were more color.  A small amount of emotion and personality are portrayed through facial expressions and drawing details.

Vocabulary

Having a specific focus for each set of books is a great way to introduce vocabulary concepts and patterns to a beginning reader.  Each Bob Book has a page in the front that tells you what sounds/words your child will encounter within that book.  The repetition throughout the story helps your new reader to remember what is being taught.  There is a wide range of vocabulary offered in these books within all the sets combined.

My Experience with Bob Books

Years after I had been using Brand New Readers and Biscuit Phonics Fun, I had a neighbor who told me that she used the Bob Books.  She said her kids used them to learn how to read before sending them to Kindergarten, and that her family really liked them.

I had seen the Bob Books for sale at Costco, and available at the Library, but had never been enticed to try them.  Since my neighbor had good things to say about these books I decided to borrow them from the Library and give them a chance.
At this time my daughter was learning how to read and we would read together in bed at night before she went to sleep.  One night I suggested we try a Bob Book.  After the first few pages she was not impressed.  So we picked a different story from the set.  We were still not intrigued.  Finally after trying a third story we decided to go back to the ones we already used and loved.

I have used the Bob Books since then for supplemental material when my children have read through all the other easy readers on our shelf.  For us Bob Books have been a good alternate option for variety.

Trent Kids Say…

Lailah says, “I like that they have small words that make them easy to read.  Sometimes the pictures are kind of weird, like the people who are square, round, or pointy.”

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