One of my favorite things is when you are reading with your child and they start to 'read' with you. When you give a little pause, and their little voice pops in with the missing word, or when they are even younger and start jabbering and you know in their head they are 'reading' with you!
Books that have repetitive words and phrases are an important part of early literacy. When children hear the words over and over they begin to repeat them and 'read' with the reader. It gives them the excitement that they are 'reading' too, even though they have just memorized the words. Yay brain development!
Repetitive books help them comprehend and remember the story, especially if it's engaging and they have you read it 232423 times a day! When they have less overall words to remember and know in a story, it allows for more of their cognitive energy to go towards language.
If you are wanting to work on a specific set of language, you can pick books that have repetition with a certain sound or phrase. So if your child is struggling with pronouns (he, her, him, she, his etc) or with certain sounds, you can look for books that have a focus on that and the repetition in the story will help be a model.
For my two year old some of her current favorite repetitive books are:
The Three Little Pigs and The Little Red Hen from Usborne books. They are great for her because it tells the classic story in an abbreviated version that is age appropriate. Before I had even finished either of the books the first time she was chiming in with the repeating phrases in each book!
The Pout Pout Fish - My only complaint about this book is the kissing of another without consent, which I do try to change when I read it. Which, sure may not be a big deal to you, but I spend a lot of time telling my children they do not have to let others kiss them unless they want them to!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do You See?- Love the board book version. We also have Baby Bear, Baby Bear. This is such a fun book to work with colors, sliding back the flap, and making the guesses of what's next. It gives lots of opportunities for kids to fill in the blank.
For older preschool kids I also like Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes and Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. I have the Pete the Cat books on cd and when my oldest was younger she would bring the book in the car and I'd play the CD and she would read with it.
I also have The Little Red Hen Makes Pizza, which is great for preschoolers and can be used to do so many fun activities I also have lots of variation so The Three Little Pig story. Comparing and contrasting stories was always a fun preschool activity. And such great books!
Other fun repetitive books:
If You Give a ... books such as a Mouse a cookie, a pig a party etc..
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Is Your Mama A Llama?
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
I know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and other variations
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Gingerbread Man
That's Not My Lion
What are some of your favorite repetitive books? What books do your kids enjoy hearing over and over again?