Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the best time to do our reading ritual?
We recommend either nightly (or daily) delivery and reading of one Tessy & Tab book. Child development experts agree that daily routines are the bedrock of a child's learning. Your delivery time and format should suit your life: right after breakfast, afternoon delivery in the mail, bedtime delivery – whatever works for you and your child. One advantage of a bedtime reading ritual is that scientific studies show that sleeping after being exposed to new material supports the consolidation of declarative memory (Ellenbogen et al., 2006) — the kind of memory involved in recalling new words (Robertson, 2009).
Do I need to read the books in numerical order?
Not at all! The order of the books is entirely up to you. You can certainly give your child the books in numerical order. Yet when you browse the included Book List, you will see that the lives of Tessy and Tab have a lot in common with your preschooler's life. If your child is going in for a checkup and is likely to get a shot, it would be very helpful to both of you if Tessy and Tab "sent" your child the book Tab's Check Up a few days earlier. That's the same with Dentist Day and Tessy is Sick. You may also decide that now is the right time for Tessy and Tab to send your child Table Manners or Potty Training or Stop Bad Habits. It's part of the magic for the kids to see how much Tessy and Tab are just like them.
Why do you have color-coding and a numerical order?
The color-coding and numerical order of the books make it easier for you and your child to keep track of all 60 books. If one goes missing, it will be easy for you to figure out which one it is without too much trouble. The color coding also helps your child to see which books go in which compartment of their Library Box.
Is it OK if I give all 60 books to my child at once, or follow a non-daily schedule, like five books every Sunday?
Yes. While we are big fans of the daily ritual, there is no way to "do Tessy & Tab" incorrectly. We understand that some family structures, travel and work situations might make it impossible for you to give your child a new Tessy & Tab book every day. You will know what works best for your family. For instance, perhaps you are getting T&T for your grandchild, niece or nephew, or some other special child, and you want to give him or her a few new books every time you are together. You might send them home with the Library Box, Collection Poster, and Travel Tote, and keep the Delivery Envelope with you. Just have fun!
My child's sibling is also interested. What is too young or too old?
There is no age limit for the right age to show interest in our books. Encourage your children to enjoy Tessy & Tab books however they naturally want to. The very youngest may only want to look at our illustrations or listen to the stories. The older ones may love the sense of mastery and ease with which they can race through all 60 books. We believe exposure to reading, at all levels, is important, and fun.
How can the same book work for a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old?
The Tessy & Tab books are specifically designed to offer different and additive levels of learning as a child progresses from pre-reading all the way to reading sentences. At the very beginning, it's all about reading pictures and talking about what the pictures tell you. Once the child knows their alphabet, they will naturally try to sound words out. The words in the Tessy & Tab books are in large print, and just a handful on each page. This makes trying less intimidating. Once a child has learned how sounding things out works, they naturally want to try to read a whole sentence. They are thrilled to discover that they are now able to decode the meaning in the words; the Tessy & Tab stories have specific fun clues to boost their ability to decode. In other words, they will first love the books for the pictures, then for the sounds and words, and eventually for the full stories and fun activities.
Do the books increase in level of difficulty?
No. All 60 books are exactly the same in difficulty, story structure and included activities. Your child will discover new levels of how they can explore the books as their skills evolve from reading pictures to sounding out words to reading sentences. In other words, each book has everything built in to grow with your child on the path to early independent reading skills.
What if my child isn't ready for trying to read words?
Kids are very smart. They are born with all kind of instincts to help them work on getting the hang of things. You can nurture and reinforce your child's natural curiosity and motivation at whatever their reading stage. It's absolutely OK if they are not yet trying to read the words. At that stage you can talk about the pictures, read aloud to them if they want to hear the story and do the activities that appeal to them. With enough time and exposure, children begin the natural process of trying to read for themselves. Learning to read should be fun, not a chore.
My child isn't trying to sound it out. Is that OK?
Yes. A child's readiness and interest in sounding out words varies greatly and is based on developmental stages. We recommend not pushing your child in any way. Reading Tessy & Tab books out loud to your child provides a rich literary experience that, over time, will engage their natural curiosity to try to sound it out.
My child only wants to only look at the pictures. Is that OK?
Yes. Looking at our rich and complex illustrations is part of the experience of literacy, and is laying the foundation for curiosity in decoding the words on the page. Continue with our best practices for reading the sentences while pointing at each word. Your child will connect the two, over time.
My child isn't interested in the math. Is that OK?
Yes. There is no 'right' time for your child to explore our math page. Let him or her seek out the math activities on their own. However, you can always spend time on the math pages talking about the objects. We believe math should be fun and engender a sense of play.
Are the books safe for my toddler to put in his mouth?
Yes. Our books are produced with such toddlers in mind. The books are child-friendly with non-toxic inks, printed on sturdy paper with rounded corners. We print our books with the hope that children spend a lot of time with them, and even if the intended reader is beyond the "everything in the mouth" stage, we know that they may have younger siblings that are not so grown up.
Where does the team's expertise come from?
We have been publishing children's books for well over a decade, and have helped over 10,000 preschoolers develop a love of reading. The team has built a solid knowledge base of theory, best practices and by learning from our own customers' experiences. Our expertise and innovation are the result of an entrepreneurial mindset: a small group of smart women, passionately dedicated to developing a better way to instill a love of reading in young children. We are not part of the big business of text book publishing or the "reading wars". Our reading program will add an important new literary experience to the mix of everything else your family already has on their shelf.
Why does The Tessy & Tab Reading Club cost so much?
There are two factors that drive the cost of our program. The first factor is that we want to include everything that you and your child need to establish a reading ritual that is motivating and leads your child to read independently. We created 60 books and 10 additional components: Library Box, Welcome Postcard, Delivery Envelope, Travel Tote, Collection Poster, Stickers, Quick Start Guide, Book List, Purple Marker and the Parent Handbook to Building Early Reading Skills. We believe that every piece of the program has a purpose. The second factor is that sourcing the products close to home, and working with small local partners, means that we deliver the highest quality product with safety assuredness, commitment to sustainable practices, and in full support of fair wage jobs and good management practices. We could create a cheaper program if we moved our manufacturing offshore, but that would compromise our commitments. We believe that our customers will appreciate this, and understand that this business model costs more.
What do you offer for families that can't afford the price?
We have given away thousands of books since 2002, and we continue to share our products generously. In 2015, we established a scholarship program by dedicating 5% of our production to send to families that cannot afford the program. If you would like to apply to receive a scholarship program, send an email to Tell us about your child and the reasons that a scholarship program would benefit your family. Our ability to award scholarships is limited by our size, and we cannot fill every scholarship request. We maintain all scholarship applications in the anticipation of growing to a level that we can fulfill more requests.
Are there additional books available after we finish the 60 book set?
Not yet! We are working on creating mini-collection series of new titles, and hope to have those available in the future. We will email the customers who have signed up for our newsletters when more books are available. If you would like to sign up to the newsletters, you can do so at the very bottom of this page.
What if I lose a book?
Not to worry. If you have purchased a complete set and a book goes missing, we will replace your missing book for $4 plus shipping. Please email our and be sure to include the book that is missing and the name of the original purchaser.
What if I lose one of the other components, or if I would like an extra for a second child?
At this time we are not able to provide individual components from the box set for purchase. Please let us know what you would like us to consider for the future. We love customer feedback and welcome the chance to expand our company in ways our customers want.
What about apps?
We are developing apps that build upon the early literacy skills at the foundation of our program. Let us know what you or your child would love to have. We listen very carefully to our customer's feedback.
What if I want to return the box set?
We are committed to our customers' complete satisfaction, and offer a Money Back Guarantee. Please contact us within 30 days of receiving Tessy & Tab to initiate a full refund. Learn more about our Money Back Guarantee.