aeiou_goodbye_544_x_234Learn to read

By Amy Schulz

Topeka Capital Journal

Published Wednesday, June 16, 2004

If you like fun and rhyming books, you will love reading this book.

Jack Heller’s book, “a e i o u … and sometimes y,” provides a fun look into the English language.

“The book is designed to turn kids on to reading,” Heller said. “The comical pictures provide for discovery on every page.”

Heller used to be a teacher and now is a substitute. He said reading is one of the most important things to learn as a child.

He wanted this book to be like the books his children used to read, like Dr. Seuss. He said the book is designed to make reading and learning fun for any age. He added that it is also the type of book that children can teach themselves or have help from an adult.

Heller understands there can be stumbling blocks for a young reader, but Heller said this is “an incline in which there is never a feeling of defeat.”

Heller’s son-in-law, Steve Davenport, drew the pictures for the book. They are full of colorful animals doing funny things.

Illustrations by Steve Davenport

One important part of the book is its unique attention to vowels. At the front of the book is a guide, color-coating each vowel and vowel sound a different color.

For example, every time you see two o’s in a word, they will always be colored gray. This will help you to know that every time you see those gray o’s, they will sound the same in each word. Heller said this guide is an important tool for a child’s success with the book.

Heller mentioned some key things in the book that make it perfect for children who are learning to read. The level of word difficulty is low, with the words having one or two syllables. It has fun illustrations, and it rhymes.


Heller’s book, “a e i o u … and sometimes y” can be found at the following places in Topeka:

• The Toy Store, 2125 S.W. Fairlawn Plaza Drive

• Mabee Library, Washburn University campus

• Education Library at Washburn University

• Contact Jack Heller at or (785) 246-1365.

“The rhymes make the book more fun and help with pronunciation of the words,” Heller said.

Heller said he has always heard good comments from readers of the book and their parents. These comments have convinced him to begin a new project. He soon will be finished with a Spanish version of the book. It will come with a Spanish compact disc, which will point out differences in the two languages. Heller said the Spanish version should be available by the October.

Amy Schulz is a student at Washburn University and can be reached at