Read it Again! How Repeated Book Readings Can Help Your Child

mother and three years boy reading a book isolated on whiteDo you have a young child that loves a specific picture book and wants you to read it again and again? Although reading the same book over and over again can be repetitive for us as parents, repeated book reading has proved to help improve a child’s language and literacy development. In the article, Repeated Book Reading and Preschoolers Early Literacy Development (2012), the effects of repeated book reading on a child’s early literacy and language development were analyzed in a meta-analysis of 16 studies and 466 child participants. The purpose of this research was to determine the way in which repeated book readings of the same book promoted language and early literacy development.

The participants in the study ranged between 24-82 months and included typically developing children, children at risk for family and socio-economic reasons, children with developmental disabilities and children identified as English as a second language. The features of the adult-child interactions included three major categories, child engagement, adult responsiveness and the use of questions. The results indicated that repeated book reading episodes had positive effects on expressive language, story related vocabulary and the story comprehension with the use of these tips below.

So, how do you help your child improve their language and literacy skills when reading the same book over and over again? Here are some tips!

Multi-Ethnic Group Of People's Arms Raised Holding Letters That1. Provide positive comments in response to your child’s comments (for example, your child points out “I see a blue bird in the picture”. You say “You are right. Good job seeing the blue bird in the picture”)

2. Give answers to your child’s questions.

3. Using visual aids or props. For example, in my book, The Monkey Balloon, we created picture sequencing cards to go with the book (click here to download them). This is an example of a visual aid that can be used during book reading.

4. Ask your child open ended questions. For example, ask your child “What do you think happens next?”.

5. Encourage your child to participate. Ask your child to help you turn the pages of the story or read specific words in the story. Ask them to help you hold the book as you read it.

6. Label specific pictures/objects/action in the book. For example, when reading Peanut Butter and Cupcake! point to the cupcake and say “I see a cupcake. It looks like it tastes delicious!”

7. Define new vocabulary. For example, in the book, The Pencil, discuss new words such as “hesitate” and “quiver”.

8. Relate the book to a personal experience. For example, when reading The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, ask your child about a time they made a mistake and how that felt.

Counting handsSo, how many times should you read the story? According to this article written by Trivette, Simkus, Dunst and Homby (2012), they suggest the following guidelines.

1. Focus on 1 or 2 books at a time.

2. Read each book 4 or 5 times over the course of a few days.

3. Read for 20 minutes or longer if your child is engaged in the story.

4. Read the book daily or every other day.

This post was written for Research Tuesday. To learn more about Research Tuesday, click here.

To view the full article, click here.


Trivette, Carol M., Andrew Simkus, Carl J. Dunst, and Deborah W. Homby. “Repeated Book Reading and Preschoolers’ Early Literacy Development.” Center for Early Literacy Learning 5 (2012): 1-13. Web. 4 Jan. 2015. <>.



  1. […] I recently wrote a post about repeated readings of picture books and the benefits for your child. Research states that repeating readings in a specific way can help improve your child’s language and learning. To see the full post and tips, click here. […]

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