Dump Trucks to Chrysanthemums

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“Dump trucks are good at dump, dump, dumping,

carrying heavy loads, lifting and tipping,

out fall the rocks, CRASH,

rumbling and tumbling,

they can work all day.

These words are stuck in my head! Why? These are the words my three year old chants all the time, from her library book that we read weeks ago. She is especially proud of memorizing these words. It’s really her first time to “read” a book to someone, all by herself. She can “read” most of the book, because of its poetic, repetitive nature. (Actually, the day she learned these words, she was very sleepy and asked me to read the page over and over. I read it over and over, more softly and more rhythmic each time until she fell asleep. The next day she was quoting it to me and everyone else.)

So, here I would like to recommend several of my kids favorite books, ones with rhyme and patterns that the kids like and are easy to remember, books that are rhythmic enough to sing.

First, Dig, Dig, Digging. Each page has the same pattern of verbs and descriptions and end with the same phrase. It also lends to discussion about machinery.

Pajama Time – very rhythmic and rhymes, a bed time favorite. Another book by the same author, 15 Animals, actually has a song on their website to sing the book.  

Are You Quite Polite? is fun for older kids, singing to tunes of traditional kids songs with different, funny words. Some of the songs were a little gross for my taste, but we did especially like the songs about chewing gum, about quiet in the library and about writing thank yous. The humor in these are probably for older children, but my kids like the singsong value of these poems.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? And the book by the same author, Adam, Adam, What Do You See? Have repetition that lend to letting children “read” these books by themselves.

Going Home, has a similar poem structure to the Dig, Dig, Digging book, with a repeated phrase at the end. It has a higher vocabulary than does the dig book, but has great pictures and explains to children the concept of migration.

These few below are not of the same rhythmic, poetic type books, but they have been library book favorites.

Bippity-Bop Barber Shop is a nice story about son getting his first haircut at the barbershop with Dad.

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin has been one of our favorite library books. It has a nice story, teaches a little about pumpkins, and has some math to it (counting by 2s and 5s and 10s).


Chrysanthemum has been a favorite and it is appropriate to my little girls. Chrysanthemum is her name and she faces teasing because her name is not normal, but she learns to appreciate the meaning of her name and that it is special. (My girls don’t all have “normal” names but they are names with meaning.)

The following links are good discussions about repetitive books. These articles actually both mention some of our favorite books, too!

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