I don’t have a whole lot to write about the BOB books because I haven’t read them.
Let me revise that: my 5 ½ year old son has not permitted me to read them.
Let me back up.
When MotherTalk asked for the mothers of beginning readers to review the BOB books, I signed right up. At the time, I had a very bookish boy who was just taking his first tentative steps into independent reading. He would sit quietly with a book in his lap, mouthing the story to himself, occasionally asking for help with a tricky word like “asked” or “science.” Or he would page through a book in bed, often falling asleep with it still clutched in his hands, the cover tipped down over his face.
But in the interval between the call for reviewers and the books arriving on our doorstep, Ben became a quite confident reader, indeed. He was asking for less help, and moving from familiar books (those we’d read over and over–and over–again) to books he knew less well. When the box from Scholastic arrived, I said, “Hey, Ben, these books are really for you! Can you let me know if you like them? I’m supposed to let other parents and teachers know what kids think about these books.”
I opened up the package for him and started to slide one of the books out of its nice box (we love boxed sets of books, like the Nutshell Library and the Bunny Planet; there’s such pleasure in simply easing the book in and out of its spot). But Ben took the whole box out of my hands, protesting, “Those are my books!” True enough.
So here I am, watching my son go all independent on me. This month, he started kindergarten after two years at a co-op preschool. We spent nearly as much time at that preschool as he did; we knew everything about his day. Now, we drop him off at 8:30, pick him up at 2, and rely on his selective memory to learn anything about his day. He surfs the internet, downloading videos of BART trains on YouTube. And now he’s reading on his own.
He opened the box, pulled out a book, and started to read. Then he started to crack up. Then he started reading to his little brother. Eli started laughing, too.
So let me say this about the BOB books: I love them.