Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic

App review by
Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Media
Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic App Poster Image
Excellent interactive early phonics storybook.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

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The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn to build their reading skills with Bob Books #1 Reading Magic. The app is designed to take kids from letter and letter-sound recognition to being able to spell and sound out short words on their own. Using the same 12 sentences in four levels that progressively get harder lets kids directly build on their knowledge as they go through each level. While the words taught here are limited, the letters and their sounds are the basis of many other words. Bob Books #1 Reading Magic does a very good job providing the basics for learning phonics and how to read. 

Ease of Play

Very intuitive to use. There are four levels, but it ramps up very quickly. It is possible to change the settings so the app stays on only one of the four levels, giving kids a chance to master one level before moving on. It remembers which pages and levels have been completed, so you can always quit the app and come back later to continue where you left off.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Several links (on the main page, on the About screen, and in the settings) will take you to websites such as, the developer's website, and the Bob Books website.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bob Books #1 - Reading Magic is an educational experience that will gently teach young kids early phonics by teaching the sounds that letters make and how to combine them to make short words. The developers take a classic phonics book and turn it into an app. The app successfully replicates the book series' step-by-step phonics instruction by providing four levels with the same sentences. When kids have successfully matched the letters to the words (Level 1) or spelled out the words by choosing the correct letters among many other letters (Level 4), that object gets filled in with color. When kids have completed the sentence, the whole scene comes alive. An HD version is also available in iTunes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bySeeger5 August 12, 2013

Bob Books for Early Readers is a Hit

Bob Books has absolutely been instrumental in teaching my son how to read. At four years old he is blowing away friends and family with his accuracy and excitem... Continue reading
Parent of a 1 and 3-year-old Written byhaukeg November 26, 2012

Consistent with books, but little better in electronic form

We have the Bob series of paperback books for our 3-1/2 year old daughter and thought this app would be a good accelerator to add to the mix. It does a good jo... Continue reading

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What's it about?

In Bob Books #1 Reading Magic, kids drag the letters for the given word to the proper place below the picture, while the app sounds out the letters and reads the word aloud. Their efforts are rewarded when the black-and-white screen transforms to color and the drawings become animated. There are twelve pages and each one has four levels. You can customize the settings to suit your kid's current phonics knowledge and reading level.

Is it any good?

BOB BOOKS #1 - READING MAGIC is an excellent introduction to phonics for young children, or a nice companion to the printed Bob Books (a systematic method of teaching kids to read). Since you can either control the difficulty level or set it to Automatic, this app will grow with your learning child, and keep their interest as they read and re-read the sentences on each page. The artwork is simple, just as in the printed Bob Books, but the added elements of color and animation are well done and attractive.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Read with your kids daily.

  • Stock up on variety of reading materials for kids, including phonics readers and traditional storybooks. Keep them where kids can access them easily.

  • Sound out and spell everyday words together.

App details

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