Author: John Butler

12 to 17 Months Predictable Text

This recommended children's book offers your toddler a chance to participate during the read aloud with a guessing game format. He will enjoy the repetition and will quickly learn who says "moo" and who says "hee-haw" after hearing the story a few times. Large, lovable illustrations in this picture book will introduce your toddler to baby animals. Plan a time to read this book when he can be active, and continue the fun after you have finished reading.

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the book. Sit with your toddler in your lap or next to you and look at the book cover together. Encourage him to show you the animal on the front or back cover and perhaps even say something about it. If not, name the picture your toddler is showing you. Sweep your finger under the words as you read the title and author’s name. Encourage your toddler to help you turn the pages. Read the first page, bringing his attention to the illustration that gives you a clue about who is coming next.

For example: Who says ‘woof’? See this? (point to the bone) That looks like a bone. Who says ‘woof’ and has a bone? Let’s turn the page and see. A dog says ‘woof’. Can you say ‘woof’ like the dog?

Oral Language

Talk about details in the illustrations. On the pages with one animal, you may want to talk about body parts and similarities and differences between animals. Point out the illustrations that have both the mother and the babies. The last page has all the animals. This would be a great page to hunt for a particular animal either by name or by animal sound. 

Oral Language

Relate the book to your toddler’s life. If your family has a pet, or a friend has one of the animals in the book, talk about the animal in more detail. Tell your toddler the animal’s name, what it looks like, what it likes to eat and play with, where it sleeps, etc. Even if you find you are doing all the talking, think of the rich vocabulary you are exposing your toddler to just by talking about an animal!

Gather several toy animals. Encourage your toddler to say the name of each animal and the sound it makes. Place the toys in sight of your toddler and ask, Who says ______?Fill in a sound that one of the toy animals may make and ask him to go get the toy. Acknowledge and praise every attempt he makes to match the sound to the animal.

Gather pictures from magazines of farm animals. Place them in a box or basket. Have your toddler choose a picture from the box. Sing a round of “Old McDonald” using the pictures as a prompt, singing about them living on the farm. Encourage your toddler to sing along.


Find more activities designed to strengthen important pre-reading skills in your toddler, or find another recommended children's book to read together.