Say it Again!

Northeast LibraryRead FeedStaff Picks

Say it Again!

Picture books with repeated phrases

Early Literacy Skills are competencies that children need to develop before they begin reading and writing.*

Choosing books to read with your child that have a repetitive phrase can aid in the development of many of the early literacy skills that children need in order to be ready to read: 
  • Print Motivation
  • Print Awareness
  • Narrative Skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Letter Knowledge
  • Phonological Awareness**
Hearing a repeated phrase over and over again will help children recognize sound patterns and develop phonological awareness (understanding the smaller sounds in words). 

Reading books with repeated phrases also helps children develop narrative skills (the skills needed to tell stories and describe events).  In telling a story, pause and let your child complete the repeated phrase. Your child will gain confidence in participating and helping to tell the story.

Print awareness (noticing the fact that printed letters and words have meaning) can be developed by running your finger along the repeated phrase in a story.

As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect!  Hearing these repeated phrases is wonderful practice for learning early literacy skills. Read these books with repeated phrases and remember it’s never too soon to be ready to read!
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
Shake your fists, and stamp your feet along with the peddler as he sells his caps and meets some silly and naughty monkeys along the way!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archaumbault
This classic and lively alphabet rhyme will have you chanting its memorable verses long after finishing the cheerful story.  Lois Ehlert’s vibrant illustrations are not to be missed.

The Chick and the Duckling by Vladimir Suteev
This sweet mimicking tale of the newly hatched chick and duckling will delight little ones who are also exploring and discovering the world around them.

Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee
Who wants to go for a ride with Mr. Horse?  Children will love being bounced on your lap as you repeat “Clip-clop, clippety clop!” in this rhythmic tale of a horseback ride with barnyard friends.

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Delight in the surprise of lifting the flaps to reveal who from the menagerie the zoo sends as a possible pet in response to a young child’s letter. 

Have You Seen my Cat? By Eric Carle
Let’s help the little boy find his missing cat and meet helpful friends and other members of the cat family along the way!  Children will love participating by repeating, “That is not my cat!”

I Went Walking by Sue Williams
In this repetitive question and answer book about the friends we meet when we go for a walk, children can participate by identifying each colorful animal.

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
The repetitive and simplistic nature of this picture book will keep children engaged and curious as they guess what each simple shape is illustrating.

The Napping House  by Don and Audrey Wood
Read this gentle, cozy, cumulative rhyming story at bed time to ensure sweet dreams!

Pete the Cat: Old MacDonald Had a Farm by James Dean
Classic songs with repeated refrains are always a hit and children will enjoy seeing their cool friend Pete the Cat give an old song a new spin!

*(Source: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families,
 (Source: Every Child Ready to Read via Saroj Ghoting)