Key Words 1a: Play With Us is the first book from the famous, best-seller series, first published in 1964, “Key Words Reading Scheme” popularly known as Peter and Jane books consisting of 36 English language early readers children’s books. These books are designed as materials for teaching a small child to learn to read, using a system of key phrases and words devised by British educationist William Murray.
The series is based on the theory that only 12 key words make up 25% of those we read and write, 100 make up 50%, and 300 for 75%, where learning these key words first will ensure children start reading quickly, thoroughly and with confidence. In this book, a budding reader of primary school age, from 3 to 5 years old, is introduced to brother and sister Peter and Jane, their dog Pat, their Mummy and Daddy, and their home, toys, playground, the beach, shops, buses and trains, and so on. Book 1a introduces Peter and Jane using 16 new words including ‘and’, ‘I’, ‘likes’ and ‘has’. Once this book has been completed, the child moves on to book 1b. Each of the key word is introduced gradually and repeated frequently which builds confidence in children when they recognize these key words such as “Here is Peter”, “Peter is here”, “Here is Jane”, “Jane is here”, “I like Peter”, “I like Jane”.
There are 12 levels, each with a set of 3 books: a, b, and c. Series a gradually introduces new words, Series b provides further practice of words featured in the ‘a’ series and Series c links reading with writing and phonics. All the words that have been introduced in each ‘a’ and ‘b’ book are also reinforced in the ‘c’ books. With over 100 million sales worldwide, in many countries, the books are still widely used as a teaching aid in nurseries, preschools and kindergartens.