My Kindergarteners Read Their First Words Thanks to the BOB Books!

The BOB books give young kids the confidence they need to read on their own.

By Megan Zander
Aug 01, 2019



My Kindergarteners Read Their First Words Thanks to the BOB Books!

Aug 01, 2019

Confession: I love books. I was the kid who used to get in trouble during class for hiding my current read under the desk during math class (sorry not sorry — Goosebumps beats long division any day). When I was in middle school, my mom started giving me her cast off romance novels because I went through YA books too quickly for her to keep up. I’m still prone to bringing a novel along for a long car ride, and I may have missed the oven timer on my lasagna last week because I was engrossed in a thriller. Reading lets me experience other worlds, and I can’t wait for my twin kindergarteners to unlock the magic of a great book themselves.

I read picture books to them constantly, but they’re at the age when they want to do everything themselves, including reading. They come home and tell me which of their classmates read a book today on their own, and I can see the wistfulness on their faces. 

Whenever we give reading a go at home, Remy is quick to give up and have me read to him, and Lolo gets frustrated when he comes to a word he doesn’t know. So, when my editor suggested I try the BOB Books beginning readers sets, I jumped on the idea. I’m so glad I did because they’ve been a major help in giving my kids both the confidence and skills to read on their own.

Each Book Comes With Its Own Sound & Picture Dictionary

We have plenty of readers on our bookcase, but even the easiest ones have some words the boys struggle with, so in order to get through them, they need an adult to help out. What I really love about the BOB Books: Set #1: Beginner Readers is that they truly are for little kids who are brand new to this whole reading thing.

There are just a few words per page. Each of the 12 books focuses on a couple of letters, starting with "a" and "b" for book one, leading all the way to "y" and "z". What’s really special is the sound and picture dictionary at the start of each book. Before we start reading, I spend a minute going through the dictionary with the boys, so they’re familiar with what they’re about to read. Lolo really loves knowing what sounds are in each book ahead of time. I think it helps him feel more prepared, and every time we sit down with these books he gets so excited that he can read every word on his own.


Some nights I struggle to get him to read for the 10 minutes he’s supposed to for his kindergarten reading chart. His famous move is getting halfway through the book before declaring, “I’m tired” and melodramatically sliding off the couch. But when I tell him the BOB Books are fair game, he’ll grab a few and fly through them.

Practice Sight Words and More

Remy’s more confident with well...everything. He knows a lot of the sight words from the list his teacher sent home and likes the challenge of trying to sound out new words, which is why he’s into the BOB Books Set #2: Advancing Beginners. These have a list of all the words in each book on the back page, and he really loves getting to the end and shouting, “I read 41 words!” or whatever the number is. I’m a fan of the word lists, too. I take a quick peek before he reads to make sure he knows all the words in the book. If he doesn’t, we take a minute to go over them beforehand. This way, when he reads, it’s easier for him to get through it without help.


Remy is also my child who hates doing sight word flashcards. Not even the promise of candy when he’s done can get him to work through a whole stack. I used to stress over it, but after checking the lists at the end of the books I realize he’s learning many of his sight words while reading. Now if there was only a book that could convince him to floss….

The Bonus Benefits of Box Sets

The books are small and light, which makes them perfect for tossing one or two into my bag for a distraction while we’re waiting in line at the store or out to eat. And sets are numbered and come in their own little box, which is super helpful because my bookshelves often look like they’ve been swarmed by a Black Friday mob.

The kids enjoy the challenge of counting out the volumes and reading them all in order. They can usually get through three or four before wanting a break, but Lolo told me the other day that he wants to try reading all 12 in one sitting this week. I once tried to read all of the Divergent series in a single weekend, so I both understand and love his determination.  

Hooray! A Font Kids Can Recognize

I’m also a big fan of the font the BOB Books use. Ever notice that most kids' books use a font where the ‘a’ and ‘g’ are written in a way that’s different than the alphabet we teach kids to write? As adults who’ve been reading for years, we don’t notice it unless someone points it out. But my boys often get tripped up when sounding out words because the letters aren’t what they’re used to. The font in the BOB Books is similar to the alphabet that hangs in their classroom, so they’re confident in every letter. More kids’ books with fonts like this, please!

Of course, having the BOB Books help my kids improve their reading skills isn’t always a good thing. They totally knew what I was spelling last night when they heard me say I wanted to have leftover C-A-K-E after they went to bed. But overall, I’m thankful for the ways these readers are helping them work their way towards bigger words and harder books, and I can’t wait until the day we can have our very own family book club.  

Find more recommended books for kindergarten readers, along with tips from experts, at our guide to getting ready for kindergarten, including even more . 

Browse the complete line of BOB books, which are designed to help young kids who are familiar with the alphabet acquire basic reading skills. BOB Books offer simple-to-grasp stories, while others build specific skills such as complex wordsrhyming or word families.

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