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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading books that simply work..., 11 Feb 2011
This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
I had these books as a child and have bought them now because I was a little unimpressed with the modern reading books.

The modern reading books seem to have no science behind them at all. For example, a modern book for a 5 year old will throw in the word 'invisible' or 'skeleton' because it suits the story. It certainly doesn't suit the 5 year old trying to read it. And they will frequently use hard to read fonts, italics, words like 'yeah', 'Kaboooooom!!!!!' and litter the pages with exclamation marks. You can tell that they have no educational basis behind them at all.

The peter and jane books were designed by a teacher with experience of teaching the 'hard to teach'. Simple repetition gives the child a feeling of success. The specially designed font is the easiest font for young readers to see (and has become a classic). The illustrations are simple and not distracting. And the key thing, the books get incrementally more advanced. They never throw in unreadable words for the sake of the story. Instead they bend the story to suit the words.

You simply can't get better books for teaching your children to read. Ignore all the comments about them being old fashioned. If making reading easier for kids is old fashioned, then call me old fashioned.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlock Reading., 30 Jan 2011
By 
bluyonda - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
Content synopsis and words introduced including variations as follows..

1a Play with us
(Peter, Jane, and, Here, here, is, The, the, dog, likes, like, I, a, shop, in, has, toy, ball, tree). These words are gradually introduced building up to a full sentence per page of up to 11 words. Bold thick text with upper case 'T' 14mm tall.

2a We have fun
(Pat, They, they, are, water, fun, Come, come, comes, It, it, says, say, He, he, Look, look, looks, Have, have, A, fish, want, wants, No, no, You, you, some, This, this, for, Can, can, Jump, jump, jumps, ?, into, are, We, we, to, go, Yes, Can, sweet, sweets, toys, home). Simple short sentence construction building up to 23 words per page. Bold thinner text 'T' 9mm tall.

1b Look at this
(trees, shops, Jane's, Peter's). Simple three word sentence per page building up to two sentences of three or four words per page and single sentences of nine words per page. Bold thick text 'T' 14mm tall.

2b Have a go
Reinforces previous words. Three to nine word sentences. Bold thinner text 'T' 9mm tall.

1c Read and write
Links with 1a and 1b including the opportunity to start writing practice. A single word may need finishing to complete a sentence. Yes/No question sentences need answering. All spaces have a small line for each missing letter. Answers at the back. Bold thinner text 'T' 9mm.

2c I like to write
Links with 2a and 2b with writing practice. Moving on from 1c yet the same format. Some sentences are missing the last one or two words, a box gives clear one and two word choices. Yes/No question sentences need answering. All spaces have a small line for each missing letter. Answers at the back. Bold thinner text 'T' 9mm.

Taken from the inside covers..."Key Words with Peter and Jane uses the most frequently met words in the English language - scientifically researched and world renowned Key Words - as a starting point for learning to read successfully and confidently".
"Series a ~ gradually introduces and repeats new words".
"Series b ~ provides further practice of these same words but in a different context and with different illustrations".
"Series c ~ uses familiar words to teach Phonics in a methodical way, enabling children to read increasingly difficult words. It also provides a link to writing".

Hard backed gloss covers, each book has well spaced, bold clear text. Lovely water colour Illustrations with a 'dated' feel adding to their charm; each clearly illustrate the text so aiding understanding. They lend themselves to super observational and comparison discussions with a simpler less cluttered time. Supplied with a sturdy gloss finish box, red cord handle and Velcro fastening.

(There is a set of Key Word Flash Cards available to use with these books).

A tailor made reading tool we use along side other story books and eventual reading scheme. I see these as an excellent key word and context reinforcement, clearly outlining word placement/meaning. As the text, theme and illustrations don't seem overly 'childish', perhaps an acceptable resource for adults too. My little one really engages with these, superb purchase!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The good old stuff, 9 Sep 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
I enjoyed these books as a child and decided to take a gamble on them for my daughter who is 2 and half and really enjoys her books. She can now already read some of the words and enjoys the pictures and stories. I would recommend them, just as good as I remember them.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter and Jane - still a good beginners read, 4 Jan 2011
By 
T. Peters - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
I remember learning from Janet and John and Peter and Jane as a youngster and we weren't getting on with Kipper, Biff and Chip (oxford Tree), so I thought I'd try these. Admittedly they are a little old-fashioned, but they still work (unlike Janet and John, which are just too old-fashioned for my five year old to understand).

My five year old reads well and the repetition in these books is invaluable - as is introduing the variations in verbs eg. 'Peter likeS', but 'I like' - good for her communication skills.

She enjoyed the books she had to write in too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Nov 2010
By 
FS (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
I bought these books for a change from the ORT range. My 4 yr old loves them and the different style. They have a lovely old fashioned charm.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 26 Sep 2011
By 
Tigerlily101 (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
I bought Peter & Jane books to help my little one who has just starting to read. He has some difficulties with the ORT range as they have lots of sentences which ends with ! and ?. Peter and Jane books are pain and simple readings with progressive key words repeat throughout each levels and most important of all - they work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful resource for children who are learning to read, 5 Nov 2011
By 
Cheryl M-M (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
My youngest son is six and for some reason he finds the phonic reading books at school very hard to read. I believe it is because the books don't have much of a story and make little sense and phonics, as most will know do not encompass all sounds. So I decided to try the good old Ladybird books and lo and behold he can read those fluently. I asked school to give him Magic Key, Firefly and Jellybean books as reading homework instead and he has no problems with those. So I can highly recommend this set as a learning resource for young readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for my 4/5 year old, 17 Jan 2012
This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
We live in France and I am keen for my daughter (who is half French and goes to French school) to learn English properly too - both reading and writing. Up until now we had subscribed to English magazines but she is ready to take her reading further now and I chose Peter adn Jane, the books I learned to read with many moons ago. She LOVES them and often asks if we can have another English lesson. She can read series 1 herself now and loves reading them to her little sister. My French friend also uses them with great success with her fully French daughter who has started learning English at school and is also really enjoying them. We also use the Oxford books but I prefer Peter and Jane to be honest. It's a shame you cannot buy the entire series in a boxset as they are expensive individual purchases and my daughter is ready to go through them at a shocking rate!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic books, 11 Dec 2011
By 
J. Harford (Dorset, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
I bought these for my 3 1/2 year old son as he's been showing lots of interest in reading and can already blend words using the phonics system which he really enjoys. However I wasn't sure how to progress with phonics as so many words can't be sounded out phonetically. I wanted to get some simple books that he could cope with and that helped with learning high frequency words. These fit the bill perfectly. On the first reading he was able to read several pages (with a little help of course), and within 1 week he was able to read book 1b (the second book) with very little prompting. The repetition and simple story makes learning easy and really builds their confidence. Only a handful of words are introduced at a time so there is a lot of opportunity for recognition. The phonics system (jolly phonics) has been really good in helping him to learn letters/sounds and blending, but these books used in conjunction with phonics are fantastic. What's more important is that he enjoys reading these and I think feels very pleased with himself that he can read a book 'like a big boy'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Books, 27 Oct 2011
This review is from: Key Words: Boxset (Hardcover)
A wonderful set for anyone helping their young child to start reading. The focus is on early mastery of new words by frequent repetition. I have found that my children loved the idea of recognizing their new words on each page and so wanted to go on reading. With other learn-to-read series, they seemed to become frustrated by the large number of new words per page. We love the colourful illustrations, although I do miss the pictures from the 1950s editions that were MY mother's and were passed on to me (Jane with finger-wave hairstyle! No seatbelts in the car!). A great addition to your home library.
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Key Words: Boxset
Key Words: Boxset by William Murray (Hardcover - 2 July 2009)
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