Book 1 is very simple words, all consonant-vowel-consonant type stuff, and was serious review for Little Bean. He was really at an instructional level of reading around Book 3 or so, but I found that the review in these books has been so important to his reading confidence and fluency. So even though book 1 was all review for him, it was worth his time because it made him really practice and know immediately those three letter words.
He was happy to finish book one and move on to this one. Book 2 is all about blends. It starts out with initial blends and progresses to final blends. Little Bean can read blends, but as for recognizing them on sight without effort, no. This book will help with that. It's a daily review of all the blends he has learned and that are being taught and reinforced in both All About Spelling and in his reading lessons in Ordinary Parent's Guide. Book 2 has some more interesting activities compared to book 1, and Little Bean has enjoyed this more than he did book 1.
Here's a page where he circles the letters in the word and then writes the word in the blank. His handwriting isn't all the great just because he is young, but in the Explode the Code activities, it's pretty awful. I don't care though because this activity isn't about handwriting, it's about reading. So if he has the correct response, that's all I care about--for this subject anyway.
Here's one where he reads the word, writes the word and then circles the correct picture:
And this one instructs him to read each sentence and then check the sentence that matches what is going on in the picture.
Little Bean usually does this 2 to 3 times a week while I work one on one with Miss O on her preschool skills. He can do it mostly independently too. The only time he runs into problems is when he is unfamiliar with the vocabulary. That rarely happened in book 1, but book 2 has some more rare words like skid, slip (as in a piece of clothing, slip) and slap. Strangely enough, he didn't know what it meant to slap someone (which was what the picture was of!)! When I explained to him what it meant, he was confused because in the picture, a girl is slapping a boy on the shoulder, but she is smiling while she does it. He wondered aloud why she was smiling if she was mad enough to slap the boy. :)