Wanted: Publisher for Reading
Reading Genie Books is a series of decodable books for
beginning readers. The short-vowel series consists of 13 books, two for
each short vowel, and three books that introduce the digraphs ch, sh,
th while reviewing short vowel patterns. The long vowel series is
composed of 16 books, two books to introduce the several
for each long vowel, and books to introduce several additional vowel
er/or/ur, ar/or, ou/ow, au/aw, and oi/oy.
is the author of the Reading Genie books. Geri has worked with pre-school children for 30 years,
an emphasis on promoting a love of literacy. She is currently
on a degree in special education at Auburn University. In the Reading Genie series, Geri introduces humor
plot surprises to make lively stories within the tight strictures of
Jason Adams has created the charming illustrations for Pig in a Bag.
Jason creates appealing and original characters, maintains
characterization throughout the story, and adds humor to flesh out the
necessarily limited language of decodable books. We would like
Jason to illustrate the
remainder of the series.
I have been Geri's sounding board and consultant on decodability.
Decodable texts allow children to practice what they are learning about
phonics in a way that motivates both reading and phonics lessons.
Look here for more
information about decodable text.
In our series of decodable stories, we have tried to incorporate the
best features of decodable children’s books we have studied.
While there are a great many beautifully illustrated books with
there are surprisingly few with words beginning readers can
to get meaning. As a result, children resort to other
e.g., memorizing word spellings, reciting repetitive patterns, or
from pictures. Delightful literature cannot touch children's
when they cannot read words.
Attempts at creating engaging decodable text have not been particularly
successful. Even Dr. Seuss experienced uneven success in
children could read themselves; his decodable stories have little story
Lesser writers have fared much worse. The dry, tongue-twisting
of an earlier era (“Dan had a tan fan”) failed to capture children's
and teachers, steeped in the rich atmosphere of children’s literature,
unwilling to trade off virtually all literary qualities to gain
Most available decodable texts carry relatively dull stories and
unappealing illustrations. Authors often fail to expand the
vocabulary as new
correspondences are introduced. Some series do not introduce many
important consonant and vowel digraphs, and thus so not support a
phonics program. Others do not follow the typical a-e-i-o-u
order; they may introduce consonant digraphs late (after long vowels)
devote books to consonant clusters rather than introducing clusters
blending problems rather than separate correspondences) along with the
Our Reading Genie books are fully decodable texts, that is, they are
carefully matched to the correspondence knowledge of beginning readers
so that each new word (other than high frequency function words) is
decodable using existing correspondence knowledge. Pig in the Bag
requires only knowledge of basic consonants and the short vowels a,
e, and i.
Readers accumulate correspondences with each successive story,
a gradually richer and more natural vocabulary and sentence structure.
stories grow in length as children rapidly develop decoding ability by
decodable texts. We cover the full range of vowel correspondences with
books on consonant digraphs, and we use a more generally accepted order
of introducing correspondences: Short vowels, then consonant
then long vowels, beginning with silent e patterns and followed by
digraphs, and finally other vowel patterns (diphthongs and r-controlled
vowels). This means our books will work nicely as supplementary
for most adjunct phonics programs.
We have also added a feature to our series that will help motivate
The stories follow two familiar families of children and animals
a series of adventures. In this way, each new text plays on previous
stories rather than requiring children to learn about different
settings and characters each time. This was a feature of the very
successful Scott-Foresman readers of the fifties and sixties:
Charming illustrations and familiar characters helped children stay
with stories that were otherwise dry and
repetitive. They work even better with our engaging children's
At present, the educational pendulum is swinging back in the direction
of explicit and systematic decoding instruction. State adoption
in Texas, California, and other states are creating a demand for
text. Teachers are hungry for books that children can read rather
recite. Many parents and teachers are asking for decodable books that
reasonable standards of illustration and literature. The market
for quality series of decodable books is growing.
Interested publishers may contact
for texts with illustration scripts for all the books in the Genie