Author: Chris Haughton

12 to 17 Months Predictable TextStorybooks

Uh-oh! Little Owl has fallen asleep and tumbled from his nest. Now he can’t find his mommy anywhere. This book's predictable text and colorful artwork will captivate your toddler as he reads about Little Owl’s journey to find his mommy. When you encourage your child to explore the book with you, you're helping him develop beginning writing and other early reading skills.



Before, During and After Reading

Beginning Writing

Before reading the book, sit with your toddler and let him explore the book. Let him hold the book and flip through the pages. This will help with fine motor skills, which are important for writing development later. 

Introduce the title and front cover of the book, and encourage your toddler to point to the pictures. 

You might say:

The name of this book is “Little Owl Lost” (Point to the words as you read the title). I see a picture of an owl on the front cover. Can you touch the owl? He has big eyes! Touch his eyes. 

Phonological Awareness

This book uses simple text and has predictable phrases that will encourage your toddler to read along.  Every time Squirrel thinks he has found Little Owl’s mommy, he says “Here she is. Here’s your mommy!”  To which Baby Owl replies, “No! No!  That’s not my mommy.”

As you read, pause before reading Baby Owl’s reply. Soon, your toddler will start to chime in with “No! No!”  This shows that your little one is listening to your words and language and is starting to remember familiar parts in a story. His participation in the story will also keep him more engaged.

Phonological Awareness

Recite a fingerplay or rhyme about owls. Toddlers enjoy singing simple songs and fingerplays, especially when they include sounds or motions. After saying this fingerplay together a few times, your toddler will start to chime in with the sounds and movements.   

Five Little Owls

Five little owls (hold up 5 fingers)

On a tree by the shore;

One fell off (move your hand down as if falling and put one finger down)

And then there were four.


Four little owls (hold up 4 fingers)

Flapping their wings so free (move your fingers in a flapping motion);

One flew away (move your hand as if flying away and put another finger down)

And then there were three.


Three little owls (hold up 3 fingers)

Playing peek-a-boo (place fingers over eyes making peek-a-boo motion);

One fell asleep (pretend to sleep and put another finger down)

And then there were two.


Two little owls (hold up 2 fingers)

Dancing and having fun (dance in a circle);

One ran away (move fingers to run away and put another finger down)

And then there was one.


One little owl (hold up 1 finger)

Loved to run and run (jog in place);

He fell down (move your finger as if falling down and hide the last finger)

And then there were none!


 For more fun with songs, nursery rhymes and fingerplays, try these books:

Find more recommended children’s books for toddlers 12 to 17 months, or find an easy at-home activity designed to strengthen pre-reading skills in your toddler.