My son just started kindergarten this past fall and is finally learning to read. As you already know, we love books in our home, but he struggles to sit still long enough to practice reading (he would rather be outside pretending to sword fight with a stick). So, when Bob Books approached me with a request to review several of their apps and eBooks, I was excited for a chance to engage him with a new resource.
After all, what kid doesn’t think reading on a smart device is cool.
I was given these books and apps in exchange for a fair review. This post contains affiliate links.
What are Bob Books?
For those who are unfamiliar with Bob Books, they are sets of Early Readers by Bobby Lynn Maslen published by Scholastic. What I love about Bob Books is that the sets include books for even the earliest readers. In fact, my two year old and I have even worked through a Bob Book together. I think it’s fantastic that my child who can barely sound out words can still sit down and read an entire book in one setting.
What are the Kindle Versions of Bob Books like?
Each Bob Book set contains 12 small books. If you purchase the books in paperback, they are very thin and packaged in a little box. We do have a set of paperback Bob Books in our house, but they tend to get dumped out and lost unless I keep them out of reach from the kids. I personally loved reading the Bob Books on Kindle as it made it much easier to know exactly where the books were when it was time to practice reading.
The books naturally conform to ebook settings since the pages each have one simple illustration that spans the page and one sentence. We read the books on a iPhone through the free Kindle app and still had no trouble seeing the words on the page.
Review: Bob Books Set 1 and Set 2
Bob Books Sets #1 and #2 are both excellent starting points for a beginning reader. The books build on each other, so you will find that your child should be able to work through the books as they start learning how to read. The first books use short words with short vowel sounds exclusively making it possible for a first day reader to give it a shot.
The illustrations are simple but funny. While my child is never thrilled about reading time (no matter what we do), I do notice that he does enjoy the books and has a sense of accomplishment upon completion of a book.
In my experience, I have not found a better early reader for a beginning reader. Between the short books, simple sounds, and funny stories, the Bob Books are really a must-have resource for any parent or educator who is teaching children how to read.
Find Bob Books Set 1: Beginning Readers on Amazon
Find Bob Books Set 2: Advancing Readers on Amazon
Review: Reading Magic #1 and Reading Magic #2
The Reading Magic iPhone apps are perfect if you are looking for an app that will nicely correspond with the Bob Books. In the apps, your child will find four difficulty levels:
- Drag and drop letters to match.
- Learn left-to-right order.
- Spell without visual hints.
- Pick Letters to spell words.
Each level has 12 separate pages from the Bob Books (Reading Magic #1 corresponds to Bob Books Set 1 and Reading Magic #2 corresponds to Bob Books Set 2). On the level, your child will first see an illustration from the book with its sentence. The app will read the sentence out loud for your child. Then, your child will be shown blanks for one the word, will hear the word, and will need to place letters in the correct spots. Once the correct answer is given, the app sounds out the word and then reads it aloud for the child.
My opinion on Reading Magic #1 and #2
- I really like the different difficulty levels inside the app. While my 5 year-old needs the challenge of Levels 3 & 4, my two year-old loves playing Levels 1 & 2.
- I also saw a distinct improvement in my 5 year-old’s ability to read the Bob Books after playing the app. The app increased his confidence and helped him master pages within the book.
- The app also had child locks automatically installed, and did not have advertisements or constant alerts asking the user to purchase new features.
- I would have liked to see more fun for the kids in the app. While my two year old is content to drag letters and thinks that is fun, my preschooler does not view the app as a game. He does still enjoy it though more than just sounding out words on flashcards.
- I thought that the check marks given during the app did give a sense of completion, but I also noticed my children did not want to redo the pages once they were checked.
- Overall, I thought that the app was very strong educationally and a great fit for families already using the Bob Books. I also think that it’s perfect for introducing a very young reader to the mechanics of reading.
Find Reading Magic #1 in the Apple App Store.
Find Reading Magic #2 in the Apple App Store.
Hi! I’m Bethany. I’m a mom, weekly Greenville News columnist, and co-owner of Kidding Around Greenville SC. Welcome to my parenting blog No Twiddle Twaddle, all about adding a little magic to kids’ lives through play and reading. If you are new, don’t miss these popular posts: Skin Therapy Play Dough, Sticky Blocks, and 50+ No Sew Halloween Costumes. You can join me on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest (I’m a BHG.com Pinner Pro!). Subscribe via email to get my updates straight in your inbox.