We have used Bob Books for years. For me, they were a great, level-appropriate compliment to All About Reading that allowed us to have additional fluency practice. I always enjoyed how simple the reading was, but let's say that my kiddos were never enthusiastic to read about Bob and all his weird, pointless shenanigans.
So, when I first ran across Dash into Reading on Instagram, I was very intrigued. What first held me back was the idea that it is to be utilized as a phonics program on its own (which it totally can be!). But once I reached out to Amelia (the author) she assured me that many families were using them as a compliment to All About Reading. Since my own experience with AAR was so solid, I honestly wasn’t willing to look at anything else as a full replacement. But, since she assured me they are great companions, I was excited to give them a try!
Amelia sweetly sent me Set 1 for my honest review, and we were thrilled with them! I want to walk through all my favorite things and share some thoughts:
1- The quality of the books is very good. They're comparable in size to the jumbo Bob books which I like as I don't want little ones straining to see the text. They're a paperback booklet with a stapled binding. With care and supervision, they should definitely last through a few kiddos.
2- The graphics are GORGEOUS. You guys know how I feel about putting the best, most beautiful images in front of my children. I think beautiful art reflects our Creator, and I take it seriously to incorporate beauty in all that we do.
3- The stories are excellent. You can absolutely use Dash into Reading as a full curriculum program with a child who learns typically. I wouldn't suggest it as the singular phonics program if reading disabilities are a thing in your family or suspected at all, but for typical learners, in my opionion, it’s very thorough. Regardless, the stories are interesting, engaging, and thoughtful. Even my 14 year old sat down and read through them all!
In all honestly, I have zero cons for this product. I personally believe they are an affordable alternative to the Bob books as supplemental reader and MUCH more delightful to spend extended time with. My children find these books much more interesting and engaging and love the characters. Amelia has a Set 2 that’s releasing VERY SOON.
In all, this program is super beautiful, well-planned out, executed perfectly, and is extremely useful as a complete phonics program or as a compliment to an Orton-Gillingham based program like All About Reading. Either way, I think you will genuinely love them!