All books are excellent tools for encouraging language development. Repetitive children’s storybooks are great for children with language disorders and those with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) or other speech-sound disorders. The repetitive nature of these books reduces the “cognitive load,” allowing the child to focus on comprehension (language) and production (articulation) of the content. Books provide new vocabulary in context, visuals to help aid comprehension, and can be used to address various skills depending on how they are used: receptive language, expressive language, articulation skills, and fluency.
These books allow children to fill-in the words, phrases, and character’s names, as the book content becomes more familiar. Non-repetitive books often result in the child attempting to participate in reading by either imitating the readers’ words or by answering questions presented by the reader. A predictable repetitive book allows the child to fill- in without imitating; a skill very difficult for most children with CAS (Forrest, 2003). The ability to fill-in words and phrases can lead to increased participation, turn taking, and decreased frustration for the child.
How to Use Repetitive Children’s Storybooks
- Pause to allow the child to fill in a portion of a repeated phrase.
- Encourage the child to repeat a carrier phrase heard throughout the story.
- Provide adequate time for the child to attempt productions.
- Read a preferred repetitive book multiple times and provide increased opportunities for the child to verbally participate.
- Read a story with inflection! Apply a consistent melodic tone and inflection to carrier phrases and repeated questions present throughout the book.
- Provide opportunities for the child to take turns verbalizing.
- Adapt a book by using additional pictures or objects that correlate to the text.
- Call attention to the print; point to the written text as you read.
- Provide a relaxed atmosphere for reading and positively reinforce efforts to communicate.
- Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Eileen Christelow)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear (Eric Carle)
- History Dickory Dock
- The Grouchy Lady Bug (Eric Carle)
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault)
- Are You My Mother? (P.D. Eastman)
- Is Your Mama a Llama? (Deborah Guarino and Steven Kellogg)
- Blue Hat, Green Hat (Sandra Boynton)
- I Don’t Care! Said the Bear (Colin West)
- The Gingerbread Man (Karen Schmidt)