There are probably many great reading methods out there. I have seen several that look great. I have found, however, that the best curriculum is the one that you will use, and use CONSISTENTLY. Some programs may be good, but so complicated that you spend precious time/energy preparing, setting up, etc...and there is potential for not being consistent every DAY due to such necessary prep. This book is so easy to simply pick up EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Once the parent understands the "teaching routine" (not at all hard to understand), nothing stands in your way. You can GRAB any 20-30 minutes in your day with your child, allowing for SO much flexibility! Teaching your child to read with this method can also be portable. No additional props necessary, just the book. I taught my now 12 yr old to read with this, he did great. My 11 yr old daughter at age 4 wasn't quite ready and didn't love it, we had some tears, but did fine (I now know she learns very differently). When I pulled it out this year to begin teaching my 5 yr old son, my 12 yr old exclaimed, "Oh!! I remember that book... I LOVED that book". This surprised me, it's not a "colorful" tool, necessarily. But, he has fond memories of working through it. The pictures are simple and fun, and the kids can stay focused because the lessons are short. My 5 yr old doesn't want to quit at the end of a lesson, he begs me to keep going (I do if I think it's prudent, but sometimes small bites are better and ending on a good note is best). He is so excited to be "reading" that he is pulling it out and wanting to read without me. I highly recommend this... especially if you do not like a lot of preparation, or... if you are easily distracted and may have trouble staying CONSISTENT with your lessons. Remember, the best curriculum is the one you WILL IMPLEMENT CONSISTENTLY.
When I talk to other friends on how they taught their kids to read, it is much different than the Distar method. However, I started this when my son was 5, and he is doing wonderfully. Had I started it any earlier, he would have been too frustrated to get through it. My daughter is doing this at 4, and we are taking it slowly, but she is absorbing it very quickly. There are other methods, but this is working for us.
My daughter struggled with blending letter sounds during kindergarten and someone recommended I try this method with her. It worked wonderfully! Over the summer we made it through most of the book and are now finishing it up during the school year. This approach really made sense to my daughter.