We loved the BOB books. I couldn't find anything to bridge the gap between sounding out letters and "real" reading with less obvious letter combinations (i.e. "ea" in "bear.") Bil & sil, both teachers (so unschooling is going over really well with them
: ) sent us the first set. DD loved the fact that she could sound out ALL the words, instead of constantly stumbling on spellings that didn't make sense phonetically. She has a really low frustration tolerance, so the sense of accomplishment was really important. We've lost about half of them, so if ds ever sits still long enough to learn the whole alphabet, I guess we'll have to buy them again. I'll probably buy all the sets, since they're pretty cheap and fit in my purse so much better than Hop on Pop.