Review by Kirkus Discoveries — July 28, 2008.
Short Vowel Phonics is ” A sound tool for teaching phonetic reading to beginners. Family-practice physician Norton carefully designed this phonics reader to avoid many of the pitfalls that she observed while her child was learning to read and in tutoring other beginning readers. Children like repetition, and new readers in particular may have a rewarding learning experience with the author’s approach, which requires only letter-sound association and four sight words (a, is, the, has) to begin reading.
Each short vowel sound stars in two independent chapters, which, at an average of six sentences each, are approachable for the earliest readers in a single sitting. As may be expected, such short chapters do not allow for an extensive plot, and the chapters are self-contained and only interrelated for the same letter. The sans-serif font, with unambiguous letter representation in a Zaner-Bloser-like style, is large and easy to read; vowel sounds are consistent and no long vowels appear; and the simple sentences employ one-syllable words. Each consonant appears within the set of stories, allowing readers to practice all sounds, including one consonant blend. Using her tutoring background, Norton knows the information the instructor will need to present before the reading starts, and this is organized in the beginning of the book: a sight-word list and new vocabulary for each chapter, new sounds and recommended method for approaching the stories. While not all words and sentences mimic daily speech or written language, the unusual words (for example, “rig” for truck, “sib” for sibling) can easily be explained and allow for the diversity of sounds contained within the book. The organization and thorough, beginner-oriented approach set the book apart from many mass-market phonics readers. Each story is accompanied by simple black-and-white line drawings on large pages.
A well thought-out, noteworthy addition to early phonics instruction.”
Midwest Book Review: Small Press Bookwatch –April 2010 review of Short Vowel Phonics 5
The Education Shelf
Catfish and Bass and Other Tales
Patricia J. Norton
Short Vowel Phonics
9780981771052, $19.95, www.shortvowelphonics.com
Mastery of English language is something that doesn’t come overnight. “Catfish and Bass and Other Tales: Short Vowel Phonics 5” is a short picture book crafted to help young readers gain a better grasp of the finer words of the English language, using a charming story to get them feeding. Focusing on compound words and certain sounds, as well as use of y as a vowel, “Catfish and Bass and Other Tales” is a choice pick for the young child learning to read.
TESTIMONIALS FROM LIBRARIANS
Patricia Norton’s Short Vowel Phonics is the best set of phonics books I’ve seen in years. Many other sets of readers claim to be phonics-based when they truly are not, but these books are the real deal. We have three sets at my library, and I give them out to anyone asking for phonics books. I would recommend these for any new or struggling readers, and I would also recommend them to all of my librarian colleagues as a valuable addition to your collections.
Grapevine Public Library
October 2, 2012
Dr. Norton, I love your books! Your books were the first thing both of my kids read. All they needed to know was their alphabet and letter sounds and they could start at Short Vowel Phonics 1 and work their way through the series. When both kids were finished reading your books, their reading confidence was through the roof. They believed they could read anything and they almost could!
As a librarian, parents come to me and ask what their beginning reader should start with. Short Vowel Phonics is the answer. No other easy reader is as systematic in teaching phonics. The Short Vowel Phonics series is the single best easy reading series I’ve seen. Unlike many of the other books marketed as “easy to read”, kids can actually pick it up and read it!
As a homeschooling mom, I taught my children to read in two easy steps. Step1: I taught my kids their alphabet and letter sounds. Step 2: Read your phonics series.
Thank you for your books!
October 2, 2010
TESTIMONIALS FROM EDUCATORS
From a Reading Tutor—-October 2010
“Just wanted to touch base with you and let you know how delighted I am with your short vowel stories! My students love them and your story lines are interesting given that they are decodable. The illustrations are charming without allowing the reader to overly depend on them. My copies have been checked out almost non-stop.
As I told you earlier, the kids are LOVING your books. I just had four students this morning and they were begging for more! It’s just so cool to be able to get through a book independently! Their parents are thrilled to see them be so independent and the boost in self esteem that goes with that.”
“Patricia Norton has created a phonics program that would be a great supplement for working with struggling readers. Research has shown that phonics instruction is an essential part of a comprehensive reading program. Short Vowel Phonics has been painstakingly researched. The program will help students who need extra support in phonics instructions.”
Dr. Laurie Edmondson, School of Education, Drury University
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine for homeschoolers reviewed Short Vowel Phonics 1. Read it here.
” By using these book series, we have encouraged students to love to read by helping them learn the basic phonetic patterns well, by allowing them to actually read books early in their introduction to phonics, and by having them interact with the books by answering the questions and coloring the pictures. We love how these books inspire the students to get excited about reading. ”
Grace Classical Academy
” I am so thankful to find these sets of short vowel phonics books! They not only tell interesting stories with engaging pencil drawings but are phonetically simple enough for my beginning reader. What a joy to finally have books that reinforce short vowel words with very few sight words to complicate them. Both Set 1 and Set 2 have strengthened my daughter’s early reading skills. Over the summer they have provided the remediation necessary to ground her firmly in the basics. Now she can move on to long vowel words with more confidence when school starts. I will recommend them to both my Kindergarten and First Grade teachers for use in the classroom. ”