How We Help

Decodable books arrange reading success for beginners by making sure the vowels taught in phonics lessons work in reading stories. The content words are carefully selected to require only the vowels taught to date to unlock the words. Of course, children still need a few dozen common, irregular function words (e.g., the, a, of, to, etc.). In a landmark study, Juel and Roper/Schneider found that first graders who read decodable stories in their reading series learned to read words better than children who read stories not engineered to be decodable, even though both groups had the same phonics lessons.

Lad and His Pals features 14 engaging decodable stories for practicing the five short vowels and the consonant digraphs sh, ch, and th. With decodable stories, phonics works to unlock the words, opening a window on the adventures of animals and children who become familiar storybook friends.

Fun and Games With Lad and Slim, our long vowel series of decodable stories for beginning readers, has 15 engaging decodable stories for advanced beginners: two stories for each long vowel, as well as stories for more advanced vowel digraphs (er, ir, and ur; ar and or; ou and ow; au and aw; and oi and oy). With the wider pool of words, we were able to create some wonderful stories in Fun and Games With Lad and Slim. If you are like me, you will laugh out loud with some stories, and with others, you may get a lump in your throat.

In the Geniebooks, we’ve maintained a common cast of characters across the stories. Like the Dick and Jane stories read by earlier generations, our stories follow two families of children and animals through a series of adventures, inviting children to read new stories with familiar characters and situations. However, unlike Dick and Jane, our children are culturally diverse, and some of the most important characters are animals—a dog, two cats, some angry geese, a mischievous snake, and a pet pig!