Learn to Read Sets like BOB Books

If your child is ready to learn to read, you’ve probably heard of BOB books.

They’re tiny little soft-cover books that start at the very beginning of reading and go up from there.

They’re hugely popular and many many families and schools use them as they teach children to read. After I started Ella out with Phonics Pathways, we checked out tons of BOB books from our local library and she’d practice with them during quiet time.

But BOB Books aren’t the only game in town.

Different children (and adults!) prefer different options and there are a lot of great ones out there now. (My second daughter couldn’t stand BOB books – she found the black and white illustrations boring and much preferred sets with colored illustrations).

Here are some of the most popular sets of books for learning how to read plus details about price, number of books, and what the sets include!

If you’re ready to dive into the world of a child learning to read, I hope this will be helpful!

P.S. I can’t share this post without mentioning Savvy Reading – if your child does better with an adult that’s not their parent, if you don’t have the time, energy, or interest in teaching your child to read, or if your child is resistant to working on reading skills, there is no better option than Savvy Reading. You can see more about it here and use the code JANSSEN for 10% off every month of your subscription. It’s been a complete game-changer for my three younger girls!

bob books

11 Learn to Read Sets like BOB Books


$10.99 – $14.99 per set, bundled options are available. 

BOB books are broken down into four stages- Pre-reading skills, Beginning Readers, Emerging Readers, and Developing Readers. Each stage has multiple boxed sets of 12 short books that focus on a different reading skill. The box sets vary in price from about $10.99-$14.99. There are also bundled options available that include multiple sets like this one that has 10 sets for $71.54. Many many libraries carry these, so check and see if they’re available at your library!


$89.99 for 53 books

This is the set I’ve used with all three of my younger daughters and I’ve really liked it. It has full color illustrations and fun stories. We’ve not really used the parts that teach letters, but just jumped right into the books. This set includes 50 learning books and 3 workbooks including a teaching manual to help you teach your child how to read. The workbooks have fun activities that reinforce the concepts learned. There is also a corresponding app that has has songs that help teach letters, sounds and concepts (we’ve never used the app).

Dash into Reading
$169 for 30 books (you can buy them in sets of 10 for $60 each) – use code JANSSENBRADSHAW for 15% off

Dash into reading uses a phonics approach in this set of books for very beginning readers. They focus on teaching how to decode words with a strong emphasis on blending sounds. A Parent Guide Book, motivational sticker chart, and fun finger puppets are all included to help make the learning process fun and interactive. These books are also beautifully illustrated and have engaging stories. Ani, especially, has really liked this set.


Flyleaf Publishing Books

Emergent Readers Series (41 books) $162

This program offers four different levels of books- Emergent Readers and Reading series 1-3 that are geared toward children Pre-k – 3rd grade. The emergent reader book set is a collection of decodable books that includes stories, informational texts, and poetry. The texts are tied to a phonics lesson and give readers practice reading single consonants, short vowels and high-frequency words. The books also have an accompanying teacher’s’ guide with tips and information on how to best teach the designated lesson.

Usborne’s Very First Reading

15 books for $69.99

Usborne Very First Reading is a set up books for children who are just starting to learn to read. It offers imaginative rhyming stories and fun illustrations. They can be purchased from an Usborne affiliate or directly from their website. You can find printable activity sheets, wordbank practice words and listen to the phonemes for each book on their website.



Half Pint Kids

36 books for $48

There are three sets of 36 books that each build on one another to teach children to read with fun easy to decode phonics books. These were written and developed by a kindergarten teacher with years of experience teaching children to read. She focused on using CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words in a way that helps children start to learn to read before they’ve mastered the alphabet. The book sets are available for purchase on their website, or they can be read for free online! They also give access to the teachers guide and printable activity pages.

Dandelion Readers

12 books for $45

This site offers lots of different book sets for very beginning readers to progressing readers. Each set focuses on a different reading skill like vowel sounds and only introduces a few letters/sounds at a time. They build upon each other really well and offer a great organized system to help teach a child to read. These are an ideal resource for Kindergarten through Second Grade. I like that these books get very specific about the skill they are going to teach and focus on a single sound like “th” or “sh”.


High Noon

20 books for $49.50

High Noon Books offers various book sets geared towards readers of different levels. I am going to highlight the Little Sprouts collection that is a collection of engaging decodable books for young beginning readers. These come in two sets of ten books with inviting full-color illustrations that provide beginning readers with practice in specific phonics skills like CVC, single consonants, and consonant blends. Each book has a Sprout Helper at the end that is designed to help parents and teachers guide their reader. It includes a list of sight words, decodable words and questions to test reading comprehension. Books are softcover, 20 to 28 pages in length.


First Little Readers

25 books for $13.29

This set is a really great value at 25 books for under $14. It includes 25 full color books and a parent guide filled with tips on how to help your child learn to read. Most of the pages feature just one line of simple, repetitive text to help children learn to read with ease and confidence. It’s available on amazon and has free shipping for amazon prime members. They offer subsequent book sets that will help your child progress towards reading independently.


Hooked on Phonics

36 books for $209.99 (Also includes 8 workbooks, 8 DVDs, stickers, flash cards and online access)

This set has a higher price point than some of the others, but it is designed to be an all inclusive program for children pre-k to second grade. Each lesson is designed to take about twenty minutes and follows the same approach of learn, practice, read and celebrate. Your child learns the new reading skill from the lesson on the DVD (also available to stream online), practices that skill in the workbook, and then puts those skills together by reading the book in the designated lesson. They can then celebrate by placing the provided stickers in the workbook. This multi-sensory approach is ideal for learners of all types.

All about Reading

3 books, 1 activity book and teacher guide for $159.95

All About Reading is a scripted program that was developed for busy parents and teachers who want to teach reading in a fun and effective way. It has a multi-sensory approach the lightly scripted lessons that take about 20 minutes a day. The books are full-color and engaging. The workbook has fun games and activities to reinforce learning. They offer books in levels 1-4 as well as a pre-reading program designed for preschoolers to set a foundation to begin reading.




bob books

Photos by Heather Mildenstein


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    1. We love Half Pint Readers, too! They align with Orton-Gillingham methodologies which makes them a great choice for dyslexic learners.

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