Keep the Questions Coming!

Who, what, where, when, and why? Children are full of questions and some children’s books are just as inquisitive. Books that are set up to build anticipation by asking what’s going to happen next, or what you will see on the next page, will hold your child’s interest and keep the read-aloud exciting.

Patterned question and answer books that have repeating words and phrases are also a great way to help children learn to read.  After you read the book a few times, leave off the last word off each page and see if your child chimes in. If the book rhymes it might be easy to guess the word. Or maybe the picture in the book will help your child know the word to say. That’s that way a child begins to learn about reading!

Here are some books that have questions on one page with the answer on page turn:

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Bill Martin, Jr. illustrated by Eric Carle.  This book not only teaches animals, but colors too. Each page has a clue about what animal will be shown on the next page. The text is predictable and rhyming.

Do Pigs Have Stripes?“Do Pigs Have Stripes?” by Melanie Walsh.  In this book you’ll see big, bold, simple paintings of animals. Each page has a question that is answered on the next page. “Does a bird have a big black wet nose?” Then we see a picture of just the nose.  Turn the page and we see a dog and the text: “No, a dog does.”

“Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman. When a little bird hatches out of his egg, his mother is not there to greet him into the world. He sets off on a journey to find his mother, asking all the animals (and machinery!) if they are the one he is looking for. Young children will find the little bird’s assumptions pretty funny.

“The Z was Zapped” by Chris van Allsburg. Each page is an image of a letter of the alphabet that has had something happen to it. The next page describes what happened to the letter and uses at least one other word starting with that letter. This kind of word play is great for established readers as they try to uncover the clues with just the pictures then read the words to see if they were correct in guessing. Can you see that “the M was beginning to Melt?” You could make up your own alphabet game based on the book after reading it.


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