They were used as one of the first books in the long line that taught us to read in UK primary schools, criticised for being repetitive they were gradually phased out in the 90’s. But for all that they still hold a place in my heart, the bright colours and the fact that they had a map on the back cover. All endeared them to me and still does.
It broke my heart when I heard stories of the entire series of books being burnt or ‘skipped’ when phonic reading schemes began to be the norm. This was one of the reasons I started to collect the reading schemes – a rescue mission. I remember taking flashcards home from school with the new words that we learnt from these books and the workbooks that went with the series as well.
These books took us through the first year of school and Roger, Billy, Johnny and Jennifer became friends, they got scared in the night by noises, they missed the school bus, they went to the local fair just as we did (in nicer buses and sometimes nicer clothing!)