Larry Baum

Biography

I grew up in Los Angeles, studied at Harvard College, and earned a PhD in Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego. I then worked as a biologist doing research on Alzheimer's disease and other brain diseases. Now I live in Hong Kong, where my children Ryan and Ianna were born in 2003 and 2005. When they were old enough to start reading, I looked for children's books with simple words so that learning would be easier. But all the books I found had a mix of short and long words. I wondered whether I could write a children's book with only short words. Using words no longer than 4 letters would be feasible. What about 3 letters? That should still be doable. Two letters? That would be a big challenge, but I tried and came up with "We Go To Bo." After being too busy with work for several years, I finally decided to hire an illustrator and publish an ebook myself, making it free so that as many children as possible could benefit from it. Joanna Pasek's charming illustrations caught my eye, and we completed the book in October 2015.

After I self-published it, teachers told me that reading would be even easier if I used only simple sounds and if each letter corresponded to only one sound throughout the book (for example, if “O” were always pronounced with a long “o” sound). That got me thinking about writing a new 2-letter word book with these improvements.

Meanwhile, at a public reading of “We Go To Bo,” I asked the children if someone could write a book with only 3-letter words, and they said yes. 2-letter words? Again yes. And then one smart aleck said 1-letter. My first impulse was to ignore him, but then I thought, “Why not 1-letter?” If I use “C” to mean “see” and “U” for “you”, maaaybeeee. So I combined the ideas for a new 2-letter word book with a 1-letter word book, and added a 3-letter word book for a 1-2-3 trilogy.

Children can start with “Y”. As soon as they can read the alphabet, they can read this 1-letter word book, giving them a sense of pride that they can read a whole book all by themselves, and confidence to continue reading. Then they can read the 2-letter word book, “Bo, Go Up!”. Next, readers can move to the 3-letter word book, “Cat Egg.”

Where to find Larry Baum online

Series

The Bo Books
If you were learning to read a new language, you’d start with short words. When we teach children to read, we should do the same. The Bo Books are a set of stories to make it easier for kids to learn how to read. The first book, "Y", has only 1-letter “words” (like “C” for “s-e-e”). The second, "Bo, Go Up!", has 2-letter words, and the third, "Cat Egg", has 3-letter words. You can get the e-books for free and the paperback books at cost. Millions of people around the world take a long time to learn how to read, or never learn. Let’s remove obstacles to reading. Use The Bo Books and tell your friends about them. Thank you.
Y
Price: Free!
Bo, Go Up!
Price: Free!
Cat Egg
Price: Free!

Books

Cat Egg
Series: The Bo Books. Price: Free! Words: 10. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Beginner, Fiction » Children’s books » Concepts / Words
(5.00 from 1 review)
This is among the easiest possible stories, making it a good way to learn reading. Every word is no longer than three letters.
Bo, Go Up!
Series: The Bo Books. Price: Free! Words: 10. Language: English. Published: August 29, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Beginner, Fiction » Children’s books » Concepts / Words
(5.00 from 1 review)
This is among the easiest possible stories, making it a good way to learn reading. Every word is no longer than two letters.
Y
Series: The Bo Books. Price: Free! Words: 10. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Beginner, Fiction » Children’s books » Concepts / Words
(5.00 from 1 review)
This is among the easiest possible stories, making it a good way to learn reading. Every "word" is one letter.
We Go To Bo
Price: Free! Words: 10. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Beginner, Fiction » Children’s books » Concepts / Words
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
This book has the shortest words possible for a story, making it a good way to learn reading. Every word is 1 or 2 letters.

Larry Baum's tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by Larry Baum

  • Emily and the Mystery of the Shiny Pebble- An Emily Adventure on Nov. 23, 2019

    This is an engaging children's story conveying a valuable lesson: not to jump to the first obvious conclusion. Often, several theories make sense, so be patient and keep gathering information before settling on one. As a scientist, I should have learned this much earlier in my life! If I were told that Aesop had written this story, I'd have believed it.
  • Rabbit Readers - First Book - Kindy & Preschool: 5 Very Simple Learn to Read Stories for Beginning Readers on Nov. 23, 2019

    Plenty of animal illustrations in the first section of the book give children interesting targets for learning to read. The frog and mouse are particularly cute. Later sections teach numbers, feelings, and common objects, which are relevant to kids and therefore useful vocabulary to gain.
  • Bedtime Stories for Kids on Nov. 23, 2019

    Five very simple, original stories that I think young kids would enjoy
  • Big Fun with Small Words on Nov. 23, 2019

    A very simple short story using words no longer than five letters, which may make it easy for children to learn how to read
  • Poppy The Purple Turtle on Nov. 23, 2019

    A child who is sad to be different learns the valuable lesson that everyone is beautiful in some way. (We actually have turtle-colored turtles, and I'd love to have a purple one, too.) The epilogue is almost as long as the story, but that's probably fine for kids.