Tuesday, September 22, 2009

GIVEAWAY & Mom to Mom (s): Bobby Maslen & Lynn Maslen Kertell

"People should be free to find or make for themselves the kind of educational experience they want their child to have" - John Holt

Some time ago, Satch showed an interest in learning to read so I began researching ways to nurture that interest in a fun and natural way. I didn't want to use computer programs because I want to shield my 4 yr old son from the whole video game scene for as long as possible. I stumbled upon a set of BOB Books at our library book sale and gave them a whirl.

Satch LOVED the BOB Books and was extremely excited to have read a book all by himself!

I decided to talk to the creators of the series and was thrilled to learn that it was a Mother/Father/Daughter operation. I'm pleased to introduce Bobby and her daughter Lynn. And I'm equally pleased to offer a chance to win a set of Bob Books at the end of this post!

Mom: Bobby Lynn Maslen (Author/Creator)
Of: Lynn, David, Sylvia, Paul
Where: Portland, Oregon
URL: BOB Books

1. In what ways has becoming a mother changed you?

Becoming a mother lead more or less to becoming the author of Bob Books. After I became a mother, I became very interested in my children’s development and education. This lead me to becoming a teacher. I found I really loved teaching young children, which I did for 13 years.

2. What message would you like to share with other mothers?

Give out a lot of love, a lot of play. Be ready to respond to your children’s moods and their needs.

3. How do you orchestrate your passions as Mother, Author?

Being a mother enabled me to be an author because I learned what my children’s needs were, as well as the children I was teaching at school. Teaching beginning readers I found that they needed simplicity and consistency in learning the sounds, words and meanings in books, so that is what I put in the Bob Books.

4. What inspired you to create the Bob Books Series?

I could not find any books that had the characteristics I wanted in a beginning reader, so I wrote them myself.

5. What are some things that parents can do to help their children learn to read?

Read to them, starting at a very early age.

6. What moves you, grounds you, fills your well?

At this stage, my grandchildren fill my well. They light up my life.

Mom: Lynn Maslen Kertell (Author/Manager)
(Daughter of Bob Books author/creator Bobby Maslen)
Of: One daughter (age 9)
Where: Washington State
URL: Bob Books

1. In what ways has becoming a mother changed you?

Wow - there is not a 5 word answer for that question. Just like most Moms, I love my daughter more than I ever imagined possible. In fact, having a family has taught me about love in many ways. Between husband and daughter, I've learned not to be so selfish, to listen better, to give the benefit of the doubt. Also, they remind me to play and have fun.

We laugh a lot, we have tickle fights. Sometimes it seems like a lot of work, but then I look at this child we’re raising and I remember again how important this job is. Plus, I really like her as a human. She's caring, she's funny, she fills me with delight.

Although I did not realize it at the time, being a Mom made me a good fit for Bob Books, too. My daughter and I were in a K-2 co-op, so I was in the classroom with her every week for three years. I saw the mechanics of those early steps into reading. Plus, she ended up needing tutoring, and I learned even more as I watched and participated in her struggles with very early reading. As adults, we take reading for granted. It is amazing to see that transformational moment when a child first realizes that letters make words, and that they can figure how to do it themselves. Bob Books are so terrific at that! I have seen it over and over and it is still exciting.

2. What message would you like to share with other mothers?

Realize what a difference you make. Delight in what you’re doing.

3. How do you orchestrate your passions as Mother, Author?

Does that mean, how do I get everything done? It can be a struggle to find time. I do love working from home… my commute is 30 seconds. I try to work from 8am to 3pm, and reserve the rest for the family. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. My husband, neighbors and friends all help make it possible.

4. What inspired you to create the Bob Books Series?

I will answer this for my Mom. She taught 3-5 year olds for 13 years. She wanted books that introduced reading with simplicity and fun, but she could not find any. She started writing her own, right there in the classroom with the kids – in fact, the early Bob Books were hand made individually for the child she was working with at the time. The characters were based on dolls she bought at a craft fair and had in the classroom.

Once she has drawn her little books quite a few dozen times, she decided to save some work and copy them. They were used in the classroom in that format for several years before she spent a summer carefully crafting Set 1, which introduces the letters of the alphabet. Sets 2-5 followed over the next several years.

One reason Bob Books are so successful, is that they were field tested for all those years in a school setting.

5. What are some things that parents can do help their children learn to read?

Of course, read to them. Play alphabet games, rhyming games. Ask them what sounds letters make. Break words apart so they can hear each sound separately. Mmmmm – aaaaa – ttttt. Be aware that the sound the letter makes is as important as the name of the letter.

Limit TV and computer time. There are great learning games and shows available, but there is no substitute for your attention.

Also, relax! Play and fun support learning – and bring joy to you and your children.

6. What moves you, grounds you, fills your well?

My family, first and foremost. Plus, I enjoy connecting with people – adults and kids. We all have a story to tell, something that we are passionate about, that makes us interesting. I do get a kick out of what 3-year-olds find important. They remind me that our whole world is filled with wonder.

The lovely moms of BOB Books and the generous folks at Scholastics are allowing me to give away two BOB sets:
  • My First BOB Books Pre-Reading Skills
  • My First BOB Books Alphabet

Simply leave a comment by midnight September 27th and two winners will be picked via random generator and announced on Tuesday September 29th!

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posted by Wendy at 5:09 AM


Anonymous Amy Goins said...

I saw these at the library and wondered what they were like. Thanks for featuring them!

12:08 PM  
Anonymous devon said...

we are using the bob books with our 4 year old son and he is doing great! he LOVES that he can read them himself and i see his confidence growing!

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A testimonial, not an entry: BOB works so well that GG was speed reading before we could use the full collection! Hearty endorsement from me.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 4 1/2 year old son has been loving the Bob books from the library too! He will tell all proudly "I can read"

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Carrie at Rhubarb Sky said...

We LOVE BOB books around here. . . and the library copies we've been checking out are getting pretty worn out. I'd love to win these sets and donate them to our public library so lots of kids can use them to start reading.

rhubarbsky (at) gmail (dot) com

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Jennie said...

We love Bob Books. I stumbled upon them at the library when my daughter was still 3. Now she's 4 and she's working on reading set 3. These pre-reading ones would be perfect for her younger brother. :)


4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to say that BOB BOOKS rock!!!!

9:59 AM  
Blogger emma said...

came across the book w/ cd at the local library - E loved doing that one :) would love to be entered in the drawing

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Gemma said...

My nephew is just getting to the age where reading holds some interest for him, and I'd like to support that. If I don't win, I'll still track down a set to give him. Thanks so much for introducing us to these!

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! These look like a lot of fun! We just got the Audubon Bird Call today and have had some fun with it! Thanks for your work bringing us these great opportunities.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous granolagirl said...

I haven't heard of BOB books but they sound amazing! I am keeping my fingers crossed:)

12:28 AM  
Anonymous pearla said...

These have been on my wishlist for awhile. Perfect for for my 3 year old twins.

6:33 PM  
Blogger sibabe64 said...

This would be great for my niece. She is a very smart girl heading for pre-school next year. My sister hardly lets her watch television. I think a half an hour a night so I know they do a lot of reading and other hands on type of interactive and educating things. I would love to win this for her.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Elise said...

Hi Wendy

Thank you for introducing me to the world of Bob books. How wonderful that it is a family operation. I admire the way in which you seek out the creators of products you use and enjoy.

10:43 PM  
Blogger wayfarer said...

these look great. i'm going to have to try and find a set. my son often feels defeated when it comes to letters and reading but this looks very friendly and fun. too bad i didn't see the giveaway till now.

9:22 PM  

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