by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
What Are Predictable Books?
Predictable books are books that are written in a way that makes it easy
to guess what will happen on the next page. Many predictable books repeat words,
phrases, or sentences throughout the text. For example, in the book Brown Bear,
Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr., the question “What do
you see?” and the answer “I see a ___ looking at me.” repeat throughout the entire
story. Deborah Guarino’s book Is Your Mama a Llama? is another kind of
predictable book that uses rhyme and rhythm to help children solve riddles about
animal mothers. Other predictable books build on storylines or sequences that are
familiar to children. For example, Cookie’s Week, a story by Cindy Ward,
follows the misadventures of a cat through the familiar sequence of the days of
Why Are Predictable Books Important?
There are many benefits that come from reading predictable books with your children.
Here are just a few:
- Children learn pre-reading skills. As you begin to read
books with your children, they learn pre-reading skills, such as reading from top
to bottom, reading from left to right, and turning pages. They also learn that a
story has a beginning, middle, and end.
- Children participate in reading. Predictable books are
easy to understand and remember. Because of this, children become familiar with
predictable books quickly, which allows them to fill in words and phrases when they
read the books again.
- Children learn about rhyme and rhythm. Many predictable
books use rhyme and rhythm to make them predictable. As a result, children learn
these skills as they read and re-read predictable books.
- Children learn inflection in a natural way. We don’t
usually speak in just one tone of voice. Inflection is the change between the high
tones and low tones in our voices when we speak. Predictable books often have a
rhythm that is read with a singsong inflection which is easier for children to imitate.
- Children get additional speech practice. Because words
and phrases are repeated in many predictable books, finding a book that repeats
your children’s targeted speech sounds can give them additional speech practice
as they read.
- Children experience success with reading. Reading predictable
books can make children feel successful with the skill of reading. Children who
feel successful with reading will want to continue reading.
List of Predictable Books
There are many wonderful predictable books that you can read with your children.
Here is just a small sample list. Your local library can assist you in finding more.
- An Egg Is an Egg by Nicki Weiss
- Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
- Don’t Climb Out of the Window Tonight by Richard McGilvray
- I Went Walking by Sue Williams
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
- It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
- My Very Own Octopus by Bernard Most
- This Is The Bear by Sarah Hayes
- Where Does the Brown Bear Go? by Nicki Weiss
- Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen
- Who Says That? by Arnold L. Shapiro