Language Patterns in Children’s Book: Repetitive
The first pattern I want to mention is the repetitive pattern. This one is fun. Of course, I think they all are, because I like patterns and pointing them out in children’s books.
The first book is Happiness Is. It is a classic. Happiness is a warm puppy.Happiness is a thumb and a blanket....Happiness is a pile of leaves.
Notice that the language, Happiness is, repeats.
The next book is a must to share with children who have not yet learned to read, because they feel like they are reading. Sometimes even when they are not much older than a couple years they can readthis book. They can read the text because they can predict it. The book is Brown Bear, Brown Bear.
Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?And it starts out with of course a brown bear. Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? I see a red bird looking at me.
Red bird, red bird, what do you see? I see a yellow duck looking at me. Already, you probably see the pattern. So now the child is going to say, “Oh, I know what it says. It says yellow duck, yellow, what do you see?”
I see a blue horse looking at me. What is going to come next? The blue horse, right. Blue horse, blue horse what do you see? I see a green frog looking at me.
We’re teaching a pattern. We are implanting language. The children can learn their color words. They can learn words for animals. It is a fun book for beginning reading, because the children quickly sense they can read.
And we want children to believe in themselves that, yes, I can read.
It’s a horrible thing when a child thinks she can’t read. So, we have Brown bear, Brown bear.A sequel follows Brown bear, Brown bear. The language is a little more sophisticated, but it follows the same pattern.
Then there is The Important Book. This book is great for using with older children, because it shows a pattern for paragraphs. It is also good for teaching writing, which I should mention, these patterns are all good not only for teaching reading, but as models for writing.
The Important Bookbegins with The important thing. The important thing about a spoon is that you eat with it. It’s like a shovel. You hold it in your hand. You can put it in your mouth. It isn’t flat. It’s hollow. And it spoons things up. But the important thing about a spoon is that you eat with it.
You notice the first and the last sentence are similar, and then in between, there are details about why this object is important, and what is important about it.
It continues with different objects. A daisy, the rain. So again, we have a repetitive pattern.
Here is another. If the Dinosaurs Came Back.The pattern is If the dinosaurs came back, they would carry my daddy to work and back. If the dinosaurs came back we wouldn’t need any more lawnmowers. If the dinosaurs came back house painters wouldn’t need any more ladders. The repetition is If the dinosaurs came back.
Here’s one. What is Love, Biscuit? What is love, Biscuit? And then he answers. Love is having a friend like Puddles who is always ready to play. What is love, Biscuit? And then it goes on and answers it. The repetition is What is love, Biscuit?
Here is a silly one. Rain Makes Applesauce. It has different statements. The stars are made of lemon juice, and rain makes applesauce. I wear my shoes inside out, and rain makes applesauce. My house goes walking every day, and rain makes applesauce. These are silly thoughts, but the book continues with the repetitive phrase.
The repetitive pattern is the first pattern I wanted to point out. Happiness Is..., Brown bear, Brown bear, The Important Book, If the Dinosaurs Came Back, What is Love, Biscuit?, and Rain Makes Applesauceare examples of books with the repetitive pattern. The repetitive pattern is fun and easy to recognize. Enjoy it with a child.