What People are Saying

For over 40 years, Bob Books has stood as a leader in America's learn-to-read programs, growing through the recommendations of satisfied parents and educators. Discover the stories and experiences that have made Bob Books a household name in reading education.

Setting the reader up for success

The BOB books are wonderful with helping new and emergent readers find success in learning to read one book at a time. As the reader consistently reads each book and practices the proper sounds and phonic blends, the reader picks up skills that provide them success every step of the way. I would tell every parent, grandparent, teacher, and tutor to use BOB books when helping children or anyone learn to read.

Teacher March  2023


Best Early Readers I Have Seen

These books are an incredible tool for teaching kids to read. I LOVE how they just introduce a few new letter sounds in each book, so kids don’t have to master every letter sound in order to read the first book. Pure genius. It truly makes the whole process less overwhelming, and I’ll always teach early reading this way in the future.

I wish I had had them when teaching my first child to read. I am currently teaching my niece to read. Since this is my second time around, and since I’ve discovered these books, I feel like I have a pretty great system down.

I am using this first set of Bob Books, a pack of index cards, a magnetic dry-erase board, and a set of magnetic letters. Because children can very easily memorize these books, without fully understanding how to sound out the words, I don't feel like using the books alone, with no other exercises, is sufficient to truly teach them to read (for example, my 3-year-old likes to memorize the books and pretend he is "reading").

So for my niece (age 6), we are moving through the books systematically, learning the letter sounds and words in each book. For each book, I make a set of customized flashcards, using words found in that book, plus other 3-letter, consonant-vowel-consonant words that are not found in the book, but use letter sounds found in the books that she has read already. We practice the books and flashcards separately, to make sure she is truly learning to sound out those words (and she is!).

We also use a magnetic dry-erase board and a magnetic letter set to do different exercises. In one exercise we make a word with the magnetic letters, using letter sounds she has already mastered. She reads it, and then she can switch out various letters to make new words to read. Sometimes it's a real word, and sometimes a "nonsense word", which makes it fun for her. She also enjoys moving the magnetic letters around, so this makes reading more fun for her. This is a great way to reinforce, for example, that not every word that starts with "ca" is "cat". Switch out the "t" for an "n", and you have "can". It really helps her focus on how the individual letter sounds come together to make a whole word.

I guess my point to all this is; these are great, wonderful books, and are perfect for what they are. But I don't consider them a complete system for teaching a child to read (and I don't think they claim to be that either). But they can form a huge part of a complete system, at least at the early stages. I don't have the other sets (set 2 and beyond), so I can't say yet if these would be sufficient for teaching more complex words, but I am, of course, prepared to supplement and adjust when we get to that point. I can say that, for these earliest stages, they were worth every penny I paid for them, and more.

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Lila M. Dec 2020

Kailua, HI

Wonderful for up and coming readers

Bob Books are written for the child who has just made the giant leap from sounding out the letters, to hearing the word. I have a 5 year old student who has just made that leap, and have started him in set 1 of the Bob Books. Characters like Mat and Sam, a dog and a cat sit on mats, sit on each other and have other exciting adventures in 3 and 4 letter words. My little guy loves them. The illustrations are cute and simple drawings, but my guy was offended when we came to a red hen and a pink pig, and they were white in the book. It spent a bit of time correcting that mistake so that the words and pictures matched. We will soon finish set 1 which is composed of 12 little 8 page books. The picture is of book one and book 12 in set 1. As a teacher, I am thankful for this resource.

CHIPS Nov 2022


Finally Something that WORKS! 10 STARS

My son was struggling with reading. Random books weren’t consistent enough and it was hard to find something just the right level for him.

Bobs was recommended by the moms in my neighborhood and it has been game changing. My son is excited to try reading now. He looks forward to reading a new harder book and is thrilled when I tell him he has mastered one.

These books have provided the consistency and confidence he needed. We’ll be buying every set as he progresses.

Customer Jan 2023


They work!

How can I not love hearing my child read? We have other sets, but the Bob Books are the ones with which my child is most comfortable. I would say they are easier, but that is not exactly what I mean. They are just more manageable, which, at a time when he is building confidence, is crucial. The Preschool Prep books are more challenging and longer. It is easy for him to lose interest before the story is over with those. My son started with the first set of Bob Books when he was 4, and was surprised to learn that all those letters he had learned had a use. The stories may not be the most engaging to adults, but my son thinks they are interesting and even funny. In any case, it is hard to argue with success.

Joyflyer Nov 2013


Great Confidence Builder

The main reason I purchased this set was to give my 5-1/2 yr old something that he could actually read all by himself. For that reason these books get a 5 star from me. At bedtime last night I told him to pick out a book for me to read to him and that I had a book for him to read to me (the first book in this set). I had to insist that he save the rest of the books in the set for another time after he finished the 2nd and 3rd books as well. I think between the 3 books he read I only had to help him with 3 words (polliwogs for example). He was absolutely thrilled with these books and the fact that HE was able to read the book to ME gave him alot of confidence. This set is the first set of Bob Books we’ve had, I skipped getting the first set just because it looked way to easy and a little beneath the reading level my son is at. Each book in this set is just about the right length, long enough that my son felt like HE read a good story, but short enough that he didn’t get bored with it. We timed how long HE was reading to me, his kindergarten teacher wants to track reading time at home for a monthly reward program, and it took him right at about 4-1/2 minutes per book. I would totally recommend these books, I plan on getting a few of the other sets now that I’ve seen how much my son loves this set.

E. Mendenhall Nov 2012


Get them, and they will read - It really needs 100 stars!

If you have a child that is starting to read, get these books! The progressive nature of the series allows young people to feel a sense of accomplishment without being overwhelmed. We have given several sets of these books to our family and friends who have little people and they have all reported great success. I don’t really care to listen to an inexperienced reader (makes me cringe) but the books move along fast enough that they don’t overwhelm the child (or bore you stupid).

I can’t say enough good about this series!

bowcoastie Apr 2016


Helped my Asd/adhd son read

These are so simple and build in skill so slowly. They are great. My 8 yr old has been struggling to read. But learning how to sound a few cvc words and he can read an entire book! That really motivated him. He went through all of these books in a few weeks. So we are done with them. So worth it.

E. Nordin July 2018


Helped My Son Catch Up!

My son started off the first grade slightly behind in his reading. I knew he could do it, he just needed the right reading material and practice. Completely lost on where to start, I liked the what I saw with the Bob books and the reviews. Starting with book 1 from the first set, my son has read through the whole series, mastering each book, in about 6-7 months. I loved how each book built on the last one, it was so easy for me help him move forward. He thought the books were really silly which helped keep him interested. Some books he wanted to read over and over because he enjoyed them so much. Now he’s at grade level and a much more confident reader. When he read the last book, we went back to the very first book so he could see how far he came and he was very proud of himself. I am too! I just wish there was another set for the next statge:0(

Danielle Apr 2012


Educator approved!

I cannot say enough about Bob’s books. They are great! I taught my son how to read using all of the levels and I have used them with my students as well. I even refer them to friends and parents of my students. It features repetitive reading with various colored levels. Children do not move up in level unless they have red with 100% accuracy of the previous level. Bob’s books are must to teach children to read. You will be surprised at how fast your little one becomes a reader.

Sharon W. Apr 2020


As a Former Teacher Turned Parent, I’m Impressed!

Bought this set for my 4 year old who’s starting preschool soon. I’ve been working with him on letters and sounds since he was around 2 – nothing intense, just casually through games and toys whenever he showed interest. He was starting to try and read and sound out words. I saw these books on a BuzzFeed list of products parents swear by, so I bought them to help him practice. Wow, I am blown away – his reading has completely taken off! These are old school – they were written back in the 70s – but there’s a reason they’re still around. As a former 3rd grade teacher whose favorite subject to teach was always reading, I’m really impressed and am so glad I bought these. They’re short enough to hold his attention, consistent and easy enough to keep up his confidence (from my experience, nothing kills a child’s interest and progress than lack of confidence – something I always found happened when kids were trying to read books way above their skill level). Love that these are progressive and build on each other. They’re simple but so effective. Definitely one of the best purchases I’ve made for my kid.

Allison M. Jul 2022


These books are amazing!! Parents, teachers, students studying education! Use these!

My mom first found these years ago for my brother who has autism and intellectual disabilities to learn how to read better at home in addition to what he was learning at school. They were amazing for him!

I then, years later in my junior year of college, needed to do a huge project for my class where I was going to present my research in front of the entire elementary school I was student teaching at. I decided to do research on systematic and explicit phonics instruction that I used on my 2nd graders. This project focused around struggling reading students who needed to a fast and effective strategy to get them on to or close to reading at grade level…

I needed a resource to accompany my teachings and the Bob Books saved my life and basically became the star of my project. The kids were obsessed with them. My two ESL students flourished using these and my “I hate reading and never do it at home” student loved them so much and asked to read them every day I came. They increased my students reading dramatically and they all showed huge improvements on their end of the year PALS exam because of it. The whole second grade team at the school went crazy for my project and how well it worked on the students that had been struggling all year with them. I got lots of questions on the Bob Books and where I found them.

Be prepared for lots of repetition and rereads of these. As the teacher or parent, it can be hair-pulling boring. But it works wonders. Dont give up on them! These are a wonderful tool for struggling readers or ESL students and I use them all the time in my reading groups for those students. As a parent, this is a great tool for when your child is first starting to read or struggling to read and you want to grow their skills.

They are worth every penny and keep them on hand! My mom had thrown away her copies after we all grew up thinking we would never need them again, but turns out, I still did! You never know if someone you know may need them for their child or classroom 🙂

*these are for ages 4 and up and I would say are really only effective through the 2nd grade, but if the child is seriously struggling and behind, they may still be helpful. I did not research them beyond 2nd grade age, but my findings from college and teaching do prove a positive effect in children 2nd grade or younger.

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Rebecca Jan 2023


Best books for struggling readers

These help my son immensely – not sure how they do it but they work.

Amy K. Jan 2012


These are great at progressing in a doable manner and each step up requires just a little bit of help as it uses and then adds to previously learned skills

Shalyce C. Mar 2023


THIS teaches your kid to read!

My 4 year old can read, thanks to this series. We read 1 book per night. We started with the first box and are working our way through them. She loves the pictures and her confidence as a reader is skyrocketing daily. The books are super short (so even when she gets frustrated we can rally for 2 more pages). The illustrations provide context clues. I can see the strategic way in which the sounds and reading skills build upon themselves to help her learn to read.

JHL59 Nov 2020


Do not hesitate!!

If you have a preschooler, kindergartner or even a struggling first grader you will not be sorry you purchase these books! My four yr old told me he wanted to read so we started with set 1 and I have all 5 boxed sets plus the Kindergarten sight words boxed set. Today my preschooler is reading at the same level my first grader was at the beginning of the school year; and my first grader was in the top 3/4 of his class! The books are perfect in every way. The start off using 3 letters a book, one sentence per page and gradually get more complex letter sounds and longer stories. My son WANTS to read and we read twice daily! I taught my now middle schooler how to read at age four also but I know it would’ve been a lot less stressful (for me) if I would have known about these books. My son practically taught himself to read these books! Just make sure that your child can recognize each letter and knows what sound it makes. We only knew short vowel sounds when we started these, now my son can read words like ‘wonderful’, ‘bright’, ‘another’, ‘business’ and more! DO NOT HESITATE, buy these for your child; and yourself!!

texascutie May 2012


Fun way to teach your child how to read

We’ve had these for 18 months now. My son entered KG not able to read. We used bob books (not these but lower levels) for 15 minutes a night, and within 2 months and after going through the first three sets, he was able to sound out words and reading – Then he moved on to set 4 and 5 within another month or so. He loves reading now and reads at a 3rd/4th grade level – thanks in part to these great series of books.

The instructions at the back of the each book was very helpful for me to know how to use that book.

Neal Jun 2013


Great first readers!

After my 5 year old got most of her letter sounds down we started going through the Bob books, starting with Set 1. Our tradition was for her to read a story (almost) every night before I read something to her (sometimes I’d let her re-read something she read before, or I’d let her off the hook if she was really tired — wanted to keep it positive). The books start super-easy, and they progress very slowly. After about 8 months we got through all the books and she can now tackle level 1-2 easy readers on her own. Learning to read is an enormous feat, and these books help parents guide kids through it systematically and at their own pace. I strongly recommend everyone goes through the whole series and then passes the books on to someone else!

Joshua R. Nov 2018

Portland, OR

One of the best ways to start your Child reading !!!!!!

This series was recommended to me by a friend of mine who used them with there 3-4 year old.

A great set of books for the child who is just beginning to read. The words are simple and nearly always of the sound it out variety.These books are designed to teach reading skills acquisition. With a foundation in phonics methods, each level addresses a single stage of reading development. The illustrations are clever, the stories funny. The books are on the ‘See Dick run’ level but are much more fun than those old chestnuts.

This is the fifth set in a series of 5. I bought this set for my son and he devoured them. we read one book every night. He was so happy when he could say that “He Read the Whole Book”!! He is now 8 and reading at a 5th grade level. I feel that the Bob Book series definitely helped in his reading skills.

I would and have recommended these books to everyone I can !!!!!!

Gary B. Dec 2011


The perfect tool at the right time

Your child won’t be into these Bob Books for very long. My son had pretty much moved past them as soon as he’d read them all.

But they’re perfect for that “just starting to read” level. The pictures and stories are interesting enough for the child to want to continue and we’d talk about the characters. The level is just right. Even though they were only useful for about 2 months they were a critical 2 months in my son’s development and they were extremely valuable to us at that time. These would be my absolute go-to books for a child at the very early stages of reading.

Paul G. Dec 2022


Confidence Building

Our grandson was struggling with reading and we began purchasing BOB books for him. These books built his confidence and made reading easier and understandable for him. I recommend these books to anyone with children just learning to read or children struggling with reading.

Pam Y. Sep 2022


An invaluable tool

At three and a half my son asked me to teach him to read. He knew the letter names and sounds so we moved to learning to rhyme, figuring out beginning and ending sounds, some sight words, and finally to blending. Blending was the most challenging and the Level 1 readers I picked up from the library were horribly frustrating. They include many words that are not easily decodable, way too many sight words, and were often upwards of 30 pages. Then I found the first set of Bob Books at the thrift store. They are just PERFECT for the beginning reader. The words are decodable, there are just a few sight words, and each book can be finished in one sitting.

I learned along the way that we needed to stick to reading the books in each set in order and that there was no frustration if I first had him read the words in the back of the book.

At four and a half he has finished set 5 and is a reader! I wish they made more sets…maybe a Bob Chapter Books set. Many Level 1 readers are still quite a challenge because of their length. I recently found a series called Green Light Readers and their Level 2 books have been a good follow up to Bob books.

Rachel G. Sept 2015


This is amazing!

I really didn’t expect my daughter to cruise through the Bob Books as fast as she did. She’s only 4 years old and didn’t really “get” reading until we got her the first set. Within 3 months, she’d breezed right through sets 1, 2, and 3, and she’s now reading this one– “Complex Words,” with ease. I’m absolutely mindblown by how fast and easy reading has been for her thanks to these books. We’d tried some practice-reading at home (“Hop on Pop” and so on) but something about the Bob books just got through to her and I’m amazed to see her easily reading the complicated words in this book. In three months, she’s gone from only knowing how to write her name and 2 other words to suddenly writing little story-books by herself– at FOUR! I’m so proud and amazed and I think Bob Books are 99% of the reason for these sudden leaps in literacy!

My daughter is bright and may be gifted, but she’s not a prodigy by any means. I think this early, advanced reading is well within the reach of most children. I strongly encourage parents of preschoolers to buy these books, and they’re likely useful for kindergarten and 1st grade students, too, especially those who might need extra help outside the classroom

Juniper Nov 2012


Confidence Builder

These books are made up of three letter words that kids can easily sound out. The first time my child read a whole book her face lit up! She was so proud and it gave her confidence to want to keep reading. On her last report card her teacher made a note that her reading had improved so much. I can’t recommend these enough! I wish I had known about this series sooner.

Lynn C. Apr 2022

Knoxville, TN

Taught my Kid to Read!

We love BOB books they have almost single handedly taught my son to read! He is 5. Just started homeschool kindergarten and he can already read all of these. And easy readers level 1 & 2. I recommend them. And recommend starting where you need to & continuing with each set as they are in order. I paid $5.99 on sale for this and that was a excellent price!.

Mamabearlind Oct 2019


When my daughter transferred to an academically-focused preschool, we were pleasantly surprised to be introduced to the Bob Book Series. She began with Set 1 knowing very few sight words. But we read the books every day, and before we knew it, she had mastered sets 1-5 by the end of the year! Over the summer, she mastered the Kindergarten and First Grade sets as well. We also purchased the Level 1 books for her, and she LOVES them. We had her tested with the WJ-III the week before Kindergarten, and she was already reading at a first grade, seven month level! Her teacher already has her reading to the class, and she aced the examination they give the children the first week of the Kindergarten to track their progress over the course of the year. If you are committed to reading with your child every day, the Bob Book sets will give them an advantage over their peers.

This year, I started my three year old on Set One, and she has already mastered the first few books! When she began preschool this year, her teacher gave her the “Break-Out Student” award the first week of school, because she was already a more advanced reader than most of the four-year-olds. If you are looking for a book series to get your child reading, this is the way to go!

Tiffany Dec 2012

Best book series for teaching reading I have found.

When my oldest daughter started reading instruction in pre-kindergarden, her teacher used these books, and it worked very smoothly. When my youngest daughter went through a different preschool and then started public kindergarden some years later, I kept waiting for the teachers to introduce some sort of reading instruction like this. It never happened. So my youngest never learned to read in school. So now I’m homeschooling my girls, bought my own set of Bob books, and after a couple months of “mama school” my youngest is now reading and writing. The Bob Books work. They’re a manageable format, manageable size, and easy to use. If you want to teach someone to read, this series works.

Vanyali Nov 2011

North Carolina


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