Predictable Books: Chain or Circular Story

These books are examples of chains and circular stories. Staff recommendations for School-Age Children. Compiled by the Children Services Staff at Monroe Public Library

“Predictable books are those which, by virtue of the book’s pattern, children can successfully anticipate the next word or next sentence. Their predictability encourages participation and engages children’s minds. Often, these books make heavy use of rhyme or repetition.” — Ready for Reading (Juvenile Parent/Teacher Resource Room — J 372.58 Bi)

Monroe County Public Library | 303 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN 47408 | (812) 349–3050

1. Round Trip by Ann Jonas

Black and white illustrations and text record the sights on a day trip to the city and back home again to the country. The trip to the city is read from front to back and the return trip, from back to front, upside down.

2. When The Elephant Walks by Keiko Kasza

When the Elephant walks he scares the Bear who runs away and scares the Crocodile who runs away and scares the Wild Hog in this never-ending animal story.

3. Red Sled by Patricia Thomas

A boy and his father lift one another’s spirits by going sledding on a winter’s night.

4. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears : a West African Tale by Verna Aardema

Reveals the meaning of the mosquito’s buzz.

5. Don’t Slam the Door! by Dori Chaconas

A cumulative, rhyming tale of a slamming door which wakes a cat, setting into motion an absurd chain of events and resulting in chaos.

6. Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli

One child. One swing. An obliging dad. The inevitable plea to go “Higher! Higher!” Add Leslie Patricelli’s wildly expressive illustrations, and an everyday pastime reaches new heights of humor and whimsy. How high can it go? Higher than a giraffe? Taller than a mountain? Is Earth the final frontier? The creator of a popular series of board books rises to the occasion with an ingenious picture book of very few words that expresses the giddy glee of being pushed in a swing.

7. If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff

Chaos can ensue if you give a moose a muffin and start him on a cycle of urgent requests.

8. Beautiful Bananas by Elizabeth Laird

On her way to her grandfather’s house with a bunch of bananas, Beatrice has a series of mishaps with jungle animals who each substitute something new for what she is carrying.

9. Look Out, Bird! by Marilyn Janovitz

A snail starts a chain reaction involving many animals when it slips off a branch and hits a bird.

10. Round the Garden by Omri Glaser

Traces the journey of a tear as it falls to the ground, evaporates, reappears as rain, and waters a garden to make an onion grow to produce more tears.

11. Charlie Cook’s Favorite Book by Julia Donaldson

A circular tale in which each new book character is reading about the next, beginning and ending with Charlie Cook.

12. The Stonecutter by Demi

A stonecutter wants to be everything he is not and has to learn the hard way that what he really wants to be is exactly who he is.

13. Oh, Look! by Patricia Polacco

Three goats visit a fair but run home after they seem to encounter a troll.

14. It Wasn’t My Fault by Helen Lester

When accidents happen to Murdley Gurdson, they are usually his own fault, but when a bird lays an egg on Murdley’s head one day, he tries hard to find someone else to blame.

15. Ten Seeds by Ruth Brown

16. Who is the Beast? by Keith Baker

When a tiger suspects he is the beast the jungle animals are fleeing from, he returns to them and points out their similarities.

17. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

Relating the cycle of requests a mouse is likely to make after you give him a cookie takes the reader through a young child’s day.

18. Why the Sun Was Late by Benjamin Elkin


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Categories: Book Recommendations, Literature & Fiction

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