The best approach to learning reading involves the skills of phonemic awareness (the ability to hear words as combinations of sounds, to put sounds together to make words, to take words apart and get the component sounds) and of letter-sound correspondence (the knowledge, or example, that b says “buh” and s says “ssss”). The Letter Stories book has characters who are letters, as well as humans. The letters can speak normally to one another, but to people, they can only say their sounds. In the stories, the requisite letters happen to be available to make certain key communications to people.
For example, when some canoeists are heading dangerously close to a waterfall, the letters s, t, o, and p happen to be nearby. They say their sounds separately, and then they synchronize them to make the word stop. The student who listens to lots of these stories, repeatedly, gets a good introduction to letter-sound correspondence and phonemic awareness simply by hearing. The result is lots less drill and practice necessary down the road.
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