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Beginning Reading Instruction

BRI Books

group of children reading

For Early Years, Including
Special Educational Needs and ESL Pupils

(English as Second Language)

  • 88 ingenious animal tales underpinned by meticulous decoding

  • Exhaustively trialled by linguists, educational psychologists and children's writers

  • Starting with only three words and five sounds, BRI offers the gentlest of introductions to 'real books' - also ideal for many  Developmental Language Disorders (DLD)

  • Suggested questions augment each story's impact on speech, language and communication development

  • Getting Started and Spelling guides for teachers, TAs, volunteers, and home-schooling parents. 

Where to Start

See Resources for downloadable Initial Assessments to ascertain where each pupil should begin as well as Mastery Assessments, complete with graph, to provide concrete proof of progress.

Suitability of BRI Books

The table below gives an indication of the type of reader each BRI Level is suitable for.

Piper Books Suitability Table for BRI Beginning Reading Instruction Books

Pre-School Reading

Learning to read at home

One of the most rewarding activities that a parent, grandparent or carer can share with children is teaching them to read. Beginning Reading Instruction (BRI) makes this process remarkably straightforward. Its eighty-eight decodable little tales make the ‘how-to’ of reading crystal clear while engaging each child in the adventures of mischievous animal characters. The instructor need only introduce each new sound, remind the pupil to ‘Say the sounds and read the word’ and instantly correct any errors; the main problem is avoiding the temptation to over-help. It takes less than an hour to absorb Getting Started with BRI’s instructions; armed with this information, and the stories themselves, the exciting journey towards fluent reading can begin.

We now know that parents can raise a child’s level of intelligence substantially by the ways in which they care for them during the first six years of life. Fast-growing brains need stimulating mental activity and learning to read is one of the most satisfying and worthwhile forms of early learning.

In the early 1900s Dr Montessori discovered that pre-school children could learn to read and enjoy the process immensely. Since that time, numerous research studies carried out on early reading have documented its long-term benefits for children, especially when it comes to language development.

We teach our young children many skills such as catching a ball, balancing bricks, and sorting shapes. Learning to read is just as much fun and even more rewarding for little children – matching sounds to the squiggles on the page and ‘pushing’ those sounds together to form a word. Young children are natural learners.

A few 3-year-olds and most 4-year-olds are ready to learn to read – but some prove unhappy, fidgety, and unwilling to follow instructions. If this is the case, just continue the immensely valuable activity of reading to the child for a couple of months and then try again.

  • Studies from all areas of language show that it is easier to learn linguistic patterns early in childhood

  • “Activating children’s neural circuitry for reading early on is key.” – Yale University Study

  • The brain is very plastic early in life and that’s when you’re doing all your initial learning

Parent with child reading a Beginning Reading Instruction book

Samples of Books

To see sample text, go to the Buy BRI Books page and click ‘Shop Now’ button to go to the Amazon page, which provides a ‘Read sample’ option for a preview of each book.

Teaching helping a child learn to read

Ages 4-5

BRI consists of exceptional value, easy-to-use books that can teach virtually any child to read. A complete programme in its own right, BRI is also highly recommended by leading Systematic Synthetic Phonics trainers for children who require additional support. The earlier this support is established, the easier it is for children to avoid the stress caused by falling behind. Only five sounds are introduced in the first three stories. These gradually increase at child-pace, with frequent and varied repetitions.

How it works

  • Intensive decoding practice

  • Reading progresses through real stories

  • Abundant overlearning for struggling readers

  • Supporting children with speech, language and communication difficulties

The 16 volumes of BRI contain 88 little stories, providing abundant exposure to a controlled selection of letter(s)/sound correspondences, enabling decoding to become automatic, and fluent, confident readers to flourish.


"My daughter loves the stories…. I truly feel that these books have allowed me to fulfil a very important job as a parent – teaching my child to read. I am so appreciative that the simple instruction made the process easy and enjoyable for both of us."



"BRI forces children to read the code and confront it over and over in real text, forcing the strategies of context and comprehension to come into play."


Literacy Tutor

"The best way to help the brain to 'remember' the code's patterns with minimum effort is through 'controlled' exposure and varied repetition. Very little active memorization is necessary when learning is based on exposure to predictable patterns... our brains do the work for us."

Diane McGuinness

Other Areas BRI Can Help

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