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Predictable Books for Children: Home

Classic Predictables

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What are Predictable Books?

Predictable books, cumulative stories, and easy-to-read books make use of:

  • familiar words,
  • word and sentence patterns,
  • illustration clues, and
  • rhyme to make the text easier to read,
  • and often are part of a series.

Cumulative stories are a type of predictable tale that also use repetition, accumulation, and rhythm to make an entertaining story. An example is The Gingerbread Man, about a runaway cookie that gathers a host of pursuers.

Predictable books especially appeal to emergent readers at ages 4-7.

-- from Short, Lynch-Brown, & Tomlinson, Essentials of Chidren's Literature, 8th ed. (2014)


Many bedtime stories make good use of repetition and rhythm to help children relax and drift off to sleep.

Traditional Literature

Folktales, legends, epics, myths, fables and religious stories are all part of traditional literature. Often these tales have many versions, including some modernized retellings like the Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot (M. McNamara, jE McM).

The original authors are unknown, but some collections of traditional tales have made their collectors famous -- Aesop, the Grimm Brothers (German), Asbjornsen & Moe (Norwegian), Charles Perrault (French), Joseph Jacobs (English), and Andrew Lang (world). Well-known collections are Mother Goose rhymes, the 1001 Nights (Arabian, Persian, Indian, Egyptian) and the Panchatantra (India).

SELECTED Predictable Tales & Songs

Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock. Eric Kimmel.

Bremen Town Musicians and Other Animal Tales from Grimm.  Doris Orgel.

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: a Nandi Tale. Verna Aardema.

Chicken Licken. Gavin Bishop.

Gingerbread Boy. Paul Galdone.

Gingerbread Man. Eric Kimmel.

Green Grass Grows All Around: a Traditional Folk Song. Hilde Hoffman. jE Gre

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat. Simms Taback. jE Tab  (see also Bit by Bit / My Grandfather's Coat)

    Bit by Bit. Steve Sanfield. jE San  (see also Joseph Had a Little Overcoat / My Grandfather's Coat)

    My Grandfather's Coat. Jim Aylesworth.  jE AyL  (see also Bit by Bit / Joseph Had a Little Overcoat)

Little Red Hen. Janina Domanska.  jE Lit

Little Red Hen.  Paul Galdone. jE GaL

Little Red Hen. Margot Zemach. jE Zem

Little Tuppen: An Old Tale. Paul Galdone. jE Lit

The Mitten: a Ukrainian Folktale. Jan Brett. j398.2 B845m

Old Woman and Her Pig. Paul Galdone.  j398.2 O41g

Rum Pum Pum: a Folk Tale from India. Maggie Duff. j398.2 D855r

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Simms Taback. jE Tab

This Is the House That Jack Built. Simms Taback. jE Tab

Three Bears. Paul Galdone. jE GaL

Three Billy Goats Gruff. Paul Galdone. j398.2 G149t

Tikki Tikki Tembo. Arlene Mosel. j398.2 M898t

Wheels on the Bus. Paul Zelinsky. jE ZeL

Wheels on the Bus. Harriet Ziefert.  jE Zie

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears. Verna Aardema. j398.2 A113w


Colato Laínez, René.  Señor Pancho Had a Rancho. 2013. jE COL  (Old MacDonald)

Hort, Lenny. Seals on the Bus. j782.42 H821s  (Wheels on the Bus)

Kimmel, Eric A. Runaway Tortilla. 2000. j398.2 K49r  (Gingerbread Boy)

Kimmelman, Leslie. Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah.  2010.  -missing-

Quattlebaum, Mary. Jo MacDonald Saw a Pond.  2011. jE Qua  (Old MacDonald)

Scieszka, Jon. True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, by A. Wolf jE Sci

Informational Predictables (Nonfiction)

Dunphy, Madeleine.  Here Is the Tropical Rain Forest.  j574.5 D925h

Roth, Susan L. & Cindy Trumbore. Mangrove Tree: Planting trees to feed families. 2011. jE Rot 

Picture Books

Adlerman, Daniel.  Africa Calling, Nighttime FallingjE AdL

Aylesworth, Jim. Old Black FlyjE AyL

Baer, Gene.  Thump, Thump, Rat-a-Tat-TatjE Bae

Barchas, Sarah E.  I Was Walking Down the RoadjE Bar

Barrett, Judi.  Animals Should Definitely Not Wear ClothingjE Bar

 Barrie, Nicola.  Here Is a Carrot.  1997.  jE Bar

Becker, John L.  Seven Little RabbitsjE Bec

Bender, Robert.  Most Unusual LunchjE Ben

Bloom, Suzanne.  Bus for UsjE Blo

Brown, Margaret Wise.  Goodnight MoonjE Bro

Brown, Margaret Wise.  Runaway BunnyjE Bro

Brown, Ruth.  Dark, Dark TalejE Bro

Bucknall, Caroline. One Bear All Alone.  jE Buc

Carle, Eric.  “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” Said the SlothjE Car

Carle, Eric. Very Hungry CaterpillarjE Car

Cartwright, Pauline.  Forty-Three Cats.  jE Car

Charlip, Remy. FortunatelyjE Cha

Christelow, Eileen.  Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the BedjE Chr

Cowley, Joy.  Who’s There?  jE Cow

De Regniers, Beatrice.  May I Bring a Friend?  jE DeR

Dillon, Leo and Diane.  Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles--Think of That!  jE DiL

Emberley, Barbara.  One Wide River to CrossjE Emb

Emberley, Ed. Klippity KlopjE Emb

Ets, Marie Hall.  Play with MejE Ets

Farber, Norma.  As I Was Crossing Boston CommonjE Far

Fleming, Denise. Barnyard BanterjE Fle

Frost, Miriam.  When Robins SingjE Fro

Guarino, Deborah.  Is Your Mama a Llama?  jE Gua

Hennessy, B.G.  Jake Baked the CakejE Hen

Hill, Eric.  Spot’s Birthday PartyjE HiL

Hines, Anna G.  Daddy Makes the Best SpaghettijE Hin

Hoberman, Mary Ann.  A House Is a House for MejE Hob

Hogrogian, Nonny.  One Fine DayjE Hog

Isadora, Rachel.  WillabyjE Isa

Keats, Ezra Jack.  Over in the Meadow.  jE Ove

Kraus,  Robert.  Come Out and Play, Little MousejE Kra

Kraus, Robert.  Whose Mouse Are You?  jE Kra

Krauss, Ruth.  Carrot SeedjE Kra 1989

Langstaff, John.  Over in the MeadowjE Lan

Langstaff, John.  Soldier, Soldier, Won’t You Marry Me?  jE Lan

Lionni, Leo.  Color of His OwnjE Lio

Lobel, Arnold.  Rose in My GardenjE Lob

Lockwood, Primrose.  Cat Boy!  jE Loc

Maris, Ron.  Are You There, Bear?  jE Mar

Martin, Bill.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?  jE Mar

Martin, Bill.  Chicka Chicka Boom BoomjE Mar

McGuire, Richard.  Night Becomes DayjE McG

McNaughton, Colin. Suddenly!  jE McN 1995

McPherson, Jan. Jolly Jumping Jelly Beans.  1996.  jE McP

Memling, Carl.  Hi, All You RabbitsjE Mem

Munsch, Robert.  Alligator BabyjE Mun

Nodset, Joan L.  Who Took the Farmer’s Hat?  jE Lex Q

Noonan, Diana.  Giant’s Stew.  jE Noo

Numeroff, Laura.  If You Give a Moose a MuffinjE Num

Numeroff, Laura.  If You Give a Mouse a CookiejE Num

 Oxenbury, Helen.  It’s My BirthdayjE Oxe

Pasternac, Susana.  In the City.  1994.  jE Pas

Piers, Helen.  Who’s In My Bed?  jE Pie

Piper, Watty.  Little Engine That CouldjE Pip

Rathmann, Peggy.  Good Night, GorillajE Rat

Reeder, Tracey.  Skating.  1997.  jE Ree

Rosen, Michael.  Little Rabbit Foo Foo.  jE Ros

Roth, Carol.  Little School Bus jE Rot

Rylant, Cynthia.  When I Was Young in the MountainsjE RyL

Scheer, Julian.  Rain Makes ApplesaucejE Sch

Sendak, Maurice.  Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months.  jE Sen

Sendak, Maurice.  Where the Wild Things ArejE Sen

Shaw, Nancy.  Sheep in a JeepjE Sha

Siebert, Diane.  Train SongjE Sie

Sloan, Peter.  Fast Machines.  1996.  jE Slo

Thompson, Lauren. Apple Pie that Papa Baked.  2007.  jE Tho

Tolstoy, Aleksey Nikolayevich.  Great Big Enormous TurnipjE Oxe

Trussell, Alan.  Who Loves Getting Wet?  jE Tru

Waddell, Martin.  Pig in the PondjE Wad

Brian Wildsmith’s The Twelve Days of ChristmasjF WiL

Williams, Sue.  Dinnertime!  jE WiL

Wilson, Karma.  Bear Snores OnjE WiL

Wing, Natasha.  Hippity Hop, Frog on TopjE Win

Winthrop, Elizabeth.  ShoesjE Win 1988

Wood, Audrey.  The Napping HousejE Woo

Wood, Audrey.  Silly SallyjE Woo f

Zimmerman, Andrea Griffing.  Trashy Town.  jE Zim