Predictable books, also known as pattern books, are easier for children to understand and read because a familiar pattern is repeated many times in the book. For example, here’s an excerpt from a predictable book in which a girl plays Hide and Seek with her grandmother (each line is on a different page, accompanied by a drawing to represent the action:
Grandma looks for Breezy under the bed. “Whoops! No Breezy.”
Grandma looks for Breezy in the wardrobe. “Whoops! No Breezy.”
Grandma looks for Breezy under the chair. “Whoops! No Breezy.”
Grandma looks for Breezy under the pillows. “Yes! Here’s Breezy.”
Later in the book, the grandmother hides a book for Breezy to find, and the pattern repeats. You can see how the repetition makes the book easier to understand and helps children know what is coming next in the book. Repetition also makes it easier for the children to join in on the reading. Even if they cannot read, they can remember and repeat the repetitive parts of the book.
Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It’s fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!
– George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.
Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including “The Read Aloud Guide”, textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children’s storybooks).
Find out more about reading aloud to your kids.