Thursday, March 1, 2018

ReFoReMo Day 1: Carrie Charley Brown Rocks Repetition

By Carrie Charley Brown

After repeating this challenge year after year, you are bound to see repetition in places. A few presenters repeat with a yearly contribution. A few book recommendations repeat through multiple years. And of course, the challenge itself repeats, arriving at the same time every year. Repetition can be a great thing, as with all of the titles recommended below.

When a phrase or sentence is repeated, it can:

-Make a statement
-Breathe life into the language

After reading Sit-In to my first grade students every year, the power of repetition shows up in our class discussion. As we speak about protest, these young students could easily say, "The boys wanted to be served, so they sat" or "They wanted food." But NO!  Each student specifically said that the boys wanted "a coffee and donut with cream on the side," which to me swings the power of the boys actions into play. This line is repeated several times throughout the story. Repetition created a lasting impression on the reader and this was only one of the many repeated ideas in the story.

Read for yourself. Feel the power of poetic repetition. 















-Create read-aloud-ability
-Encourage readers to predict and feel confident
-Establish structure

It may be the same line of text that is repeated multiple times throughout the story, or
it may be the beginning of a sentence, leaving the ending of the same line up for variation. It may even be a catch-phrase.

Repetition, when applied in the right places, at the right times, with the right words, makes a world of difference. By noticing repetition and its effectiveness when you read, you will begin to understand the powerful difference it can make in your own writing.

While researching, my notetaking method is rather eclectic, but also formulaic is some ways, as well. I prefer an old-fashioned notebook and pencil and I generally jot down the things that leave an impression on me. The book credit remains the same as I list the publisher, year, title, authors and illustrators before all else. Most of the time, I list a general plot analysis when it applies. But picture books are not created equal. Concept books don’t have a plot at all and different structures can break plot traditions. In the case of repetition, I list the repeated line in quotes and then describe how the line made me feel or the symbolism it draws or the way it elicits participation from the reader. This is where preference comes into play. If one of my own manuscripts is lacking, I may even jot down a technique that might strengthen my writing. Or if I am struggling with a certain aspect of writing overall, I may only research stories for that one aspect.

Only you can decide what is the right notetaking method for you, and I recommend that you personalize it. We do have a few forms in our [tools section], but these are only one way of looking at research. I also love to use Goodreads to sort my mentor text categories. When you find those winning repetition titles, label them by the traits that you will want to look back on. This quick-reference approach has come in handy for me time after time!

This is it. ReFoReMo 2018 has arrived. Chances are, you will repeat the healthy research habits that you have established in previous years. If this is your first year, we hope you will enjoy the challenge of experimenting with research as you find your own new habits. The blog comment section below and the Facebook group are great places to learn from one another.

Which repetition titles are helpful models for you? 


I am giving away one copy of Miranda Paul's One Plastic Bag (U.S. Postal only). To be eligible for prizes throughout the challenge, you must comment on each post, be registered, and consistently read picture books throughout the challenge.


Carrie Charley Brown is the founder and co-coordinator of ReFoReMo. She eats, sleeps, and breathes picture books as a writer, professional critique mentor, and elementary educator. Carrie contributed as a 2014/2015 CYBILS fiction picture book panelist and past regional advisor for SCBWI North Texas. She enjoys supporting authors, illustrators, and kidlit organizations by blogging, reviewing books, creating videos and teacher resources, and spreading mentor text love. Carrie is pursuing her masters in School Library Media and Literacy.

286 comments:

  1. Repetition is a powerful tool I'm using more and more and more. :-)

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  2. I've read One Plastic Bag and Sit In. I use repetition often in my own writing. I'll have to read how it's used in the other texts. Thanks,

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  3. Repetition is a great tool to make a story stick in the minds of the readers. Love these examples!

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  4. Thank you so much! I love using repetition and these are wonderful examples to learn from!

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  5. Thank you! I love using repetition and these are wonderful examples to learn from.

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  6. One of my favorite books where repetition is used that is not on the list for today is Tree Lady-the repeating phrase is so short and simple, yet powerful. My kindergartners absolutely love books like Farmer Duck, Owl Babies, The Three Billy Goats Gruff (Paul Galdone version), Caps for Sale-joining in on the choruses of these books are their first experiences on the road to becoming emergent readers.

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    1. Thank you for chiming in with more repetition titles (a few classics, even) to explore! It's the rereadability that you speak of that entices our young friends to play with language and desire to read themselves. That's like magic!

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    2. My favorite pb from my own childhood that features repetition is Tikki Tikki Tembo. I still have the first brother’s full name memorized! One question I’ll put out there in today’s pb culture of “the fewer the words the better”: For those of you using the technique of repetition, how much is enough? Too much? I’m my own research I see key phrases repeated anywhere from three to seven plus times...

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    3. This is a great question to post in the Facebook discussion group, Michelle! That way you will get more feedback. :)

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  7. I am just discovering the power of repetition in my writing, and I might be a bit out of control (grin). I tend to forget how much this helps the young readers and listeners be truly involved in the story - active not passive. I like the idea of tracking this in my mentor texts too!

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  8. My first awareness as a PB writer of the power of repetition was my 2 yr old granddaughter repeating 5 monkeys jumping on the bed. She turned the pages as she ‘read ‘ to me.
    A good reminder to use repetition. I’ll check out Sit-In.

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    1. And find the right places to implement it is so important. Have fun playing with language, Susan!

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  9. This is a super-valuable reminder. I repeat: This is a super-valuable reminder! What an ideal way to start ReFoReMo this year. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Carrie. I'm going to use your suggestion on note taking for research.
      When I read today's books I couldn't help but notice how the use of repetition can create a different effect depending on how its used. This is very helpful.

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    2. Yes, Annelouise! Were you able to fit it into one of the categories I mentioned above or did you make a new category for some?

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  10. One of my favorite books with repetition is The Napping House. I read it to my daughters. Now they are reading it to their children. I discovered a new favorite picture book, Baby Mouse, Private Eye, Tuesday. It looks like a chapter book! I used it with a very reluctant reader I am tutoring. I found this YouTube video on Kevin Henkes. It outlines all the wonderful things repetition does for the reader. What a powerful tool!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HWHm7IrLRy0

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  11. Thank you, Carrie! The focus on repetition is a great place to start this year's ReFoReMo challenge! I'm looking forward to reading today's stack and thinking about whether I can use repetition in the manuscript I'm working on now. Thanks again!!!

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  12. Good morning, Carrie! I love books that employ fun repetition. And I have found myself using that technique in my own manuscripts. But this will give me incentive to be on the lookout for the ways it is used.

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    1. As well as the exact places and structures that it elicits, too... Have fun exploring!

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  13. Thanks Carrie a great first day blog post. I will list these books as examples of repetition and refer to it when I need to add some spice to my stories.

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  14. Thank you Carrie for kicking off another ReFoReMo!
    Repetition is a fantastic tool, my favorite is seeing the kids anticipate it and shout it out! So much fun!

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  15. I had the day off from school--a Korean holiday, and so I was able to listen to ALL of these books on You Tube! A special treat before I get behind :) I especially like repetition, a refrain, in nonfiction books. Very powerful. Thanks, Carrie!

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    1. Happy Korean holiday, Tina! What is the name and meaning of the holiday? I would love to share it with my students. :)

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  16. I don't usually use a lot of repetition in my own work, but I do recognize its power. When I find my text is flat, repetition is a technique I will explore to help things out.

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  17. Woohoo, another great month has started.

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  18. Kids love repetition and learn through it. Thanks, Carrie!

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    1. And as adult writers, we can apply it to our manuscripts, as well. :) You are welcome, Sherry.

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  19. fun and interesting to wake up to season of REFOREMO. repeat repeat with the perfect cadence, length and simplicity is not easy but so worth the effort. off to work on my reprepetition.

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  20. Love the nonfiction examples. Thanks!

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  21. As I'm getting these texts, I'm typing them out and saving them with my notes so I can refer back to how an author uses a technique.

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  22. Great start to a great of reading and learning. Thanks Carrie.

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  23. I'm always in love with a different/fresh way to see repetition-- for example, in OUR CHILDREN CAN SOAR, Michelle Cook used the "if, then" repetitive structure to create a rhythm that is soothing and effective. And.... YA! It's #reforemo month again!

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    1. Thanks for mentioning a repetition title you love, Julie! It's great to see you back!

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  24. Thank you Carrie. This is an interesting group of boos with repetition in different ways.

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  25. I love the power of a good refrain. Thank you for breaking down the art of repetition for us! So excited for my first ReFoReMo!!!

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  26. Melissa RutiglianoMarch 1, 2018 at 8:19 AM

    I have infused repetition into my writing and I’ve found it helps me come full circle in my PB stories. I’ve found religion keeps me on track, it keeps me moving the story arc forward while still bringing me back to the main theme and motifs, and adds rythm and rock and consistency. I love repetition in PB, and I’m loving these book suggestions that infuse it so well!

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    1. Melissa RutiglianoMarch 1, 2018 at 8:21 AM

      *repetition not Religion. Oh dang iPhone autocorrect!

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  27. I find repetition to be more difficult than it seems - it has to be at the right time in the text, the exact right words, and actually serve to move the story along - otherwise it gets 'old'. A fine balance indeed. When it works, it works and is a wonderful thing!

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    1. I agree, Mary. Studying stellar repetition in mentor texts can help a lot. I wish you luck in researching additional titles. It's a great way to learn.

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  28. Excellent explanation. Thank you and Happy March everyone!

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  29. Melissa RutiglianoMarch 1, 2018 at 8:24 AM

    I’ve used repetition in my writing and have found it helps me come full circle. It keeps me keep in tune with rythm and on track with the main motifs and theme, while moving the story forward. I love repetition in PBS and am loving these book suggestions that use it so well.

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    1. Hooray, Melissa! You are right- coming full circle provides great structure for sure and moving the story along is important. Happy research!

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  30. Such great examples of repetition used well! I just read FORTUNATELY, which uses such a simple one word repetition to drive the story forward.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Sherry! It's true that even one word can do big things.

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  31. Great post and reminder. I love the rhythm that repetition gives a story!

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  32. Thank you Carrie for doing this year after year for us. I find repetition harder than it looks because it really has to be done right.

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    1. That is so true! Keep studying mentor texts and you will see the light.

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  33. And on the first day, ReFoReMo saw that repetition is good.
    I'm having a coffee and donut with cream on the side to celebrate!

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  34. Thank you Carrie! Great kick off to another ReFoReMo! I agree that repetition is a valuable technique for making our stories memorable and interactive, even with the youngest audience. I do feel it can easily be overdone, though. So I think we need to make sure we utilize our beloved critique partners and take a step away for a while to make sure it's just enough. Speaking of repetition, I'm going to say it again - Thank you! :)

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  35. Thank you, Carrie for starting ReFoReMo off with a bang and giving us a peek at using repetition and why these picture books work. I’m definitely going to revise one of my manuscripts keeping these in mind

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  36. I use quite a bit of repetition in my work. Repetition is fun to read and it also tends to help my stories along as far as the plot goes. :3 thank you for the post.

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  37. I love repetition. I use it in a lot of my manuscripts.

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  38. I have read Knock Knock. As a young mother we read Don't Count the Monsters. To this day there are lines from the picture books of my kids' days that my husband and I will repeat and laugh and recall those fond memories. Since I signed up for refomo, I have ideas for three stories swirling in my head! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  39. My Ethiopian god-daughter helped me organize my ReFoReMo stack into the books for each day. When I asked which she wanted to read, "Sit-In" was the one she reached for. We both loved it. Thanks for selecting less conventional repetition books!

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  40. Love repetition in PB. It does so much when used effectively, even with made up words like in Tikki Tikki Tembo! Thanks for a great start!!

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  41. Excellent topic for Day#1. Thanks for making this front & center.

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  42. Alice Carty FulgioneMarch 1, 2018 at 8:59 AM

    Thanks so much for the wonderful repetition examples! I especially liked "The Giant Jumper" and "Go Sleep In Your Own Bed".

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  43. ReFoReMo is definitely one challenge that bears repeating, Carrie! GREAT post...and i've already got a takeaway that is going to help me as I research...I think you intended your note-taking tip to be used with mentor picture book texts, but I am going to use it as I take hand-written notes for my nonfiction bios. I haven't always listed the book author/publisher/etc info as I jot down info...and then, especially if there is a quote, I wind up having to redo my research, just to find where I had plucked it from. This was brought home to me when the editor of the Inventions that Changed the Way We Move book reminded me that I need to give her the source for any quotation in the manuscripts.

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  44. Awesome start Carrie! Repetition mentor texts are just what I need as I finesse my current manuscript, making sure the repetition does what I intended it to and is placed appropriately. KNOCK KNOCK uses repetition to elicit heartwrenching emotion throughout.

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  45. I love THEY ALL SAW A CAT for its repetition. I'm so thrilled that ReFoReMo is finally here! Thank you, Carrie!

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  46. Two new books that I have just discovered. The Bad Seed by Jory John and Snappsy the Alligator by Julie Falatko.

    The both use repetition very well!



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    1. Thanks for adding some recommendations to our study list, Laurie!

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  47. Great post! Sit-In is one of my mentor texts. Author Andrea Davis Pinkney shared that "a coffee and donut with cream on the side" originally read "a burger and cheese with fries on the side." Prior to publication, the line was edited for historic accuracy.

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  48. Thanks for starting it all off with a "bag" :) Looking forward to a great mentor month!

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  49. I learned a lot from your post Carrie! I hadn't really thought about the repetition angle...I will be looking for more ways to incorporate it in my writing!
    AND Surprise, Surprise! My teenager has decided she wants to REFO with me! The dining room table is all set-up for session #1 when she gets home from school!

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    1. That is so awesome! Glad you can share this experience.

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    2. My heart is happy, Gabrielle! And to think, it all started with a song! So happy to have you back!

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  50. I have a refrain for my seasonal garden story, after each season... I'm struggling whether to include it or not. It does not 'move the story forward', yet i know kids like little jingles and like repetition.

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  51. Thank you for the post! Repetition in stories really is powerful. It's amazing at how much it helps the kids retain and remember.

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  52. I love the idea of poetic language and repetition. Thanks for a great post!

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  53. Excellent post! I've always loved books with a repetitive phrase or sentence. My students love those books as well. AND I think I can apply this idea immediately to a manuscript I'm working on. Thanks!

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  54. Repetition is great for kids. Funny story: I'd forgotten what the "theme" of day one was and was reading the books. Thought to self: jeez, there's a lot of repetition in these books! Great examples. heading off for "a coffee and donut with cream on the side"

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  55. Thank you Carrie, for ReFoReMo and a great start!

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  56. Thank you Carrie for making reforemo possible! Thank you for starting the month with such an important and helpful reminder. I think repetition is a crucial element of PBs - and they are fun for both reader and listener(s) to engage with!

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  57. Let me repeat what a great first post this is ;)

    I have always been a big fan of repetition, so I wish I had been able to get a few more of these titles from my library.

    The favorite repetition example in our house is Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont. My kids still love it and I can recite it from heart after so many readings.

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  58. I love books with a repeated refrain, or an echoing of a repeated line (sometimes at the beginning and then at the end). There is something so satisfying about it. I've read some, but not all of the books mentioned in this post. Thanks for the recommendations.

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  59. It's here, it's here! I'm so glad ReFoReMo has begun, because not only will it help whip me into shape, I'm starting a new #pb and I can use all the mentor help I can get. Thanks for this great kick-off post, and thanks for all you do!

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  60. Knock Knock was a great selection!

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  61. I love a great refrain! Kids get so excited when they are able to “read” the book with you. There Was An Old Monster by Rebecca Emberley was one of our favorites when my kids were little “cause man those ants had him dancing in his pants!” Thanks for a great post. I am so excited to begin my first ReFoReMo!!!

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  62. This research came at a great time for me. I'm working on a board book series and struggling with how much repetition is a good idea. Now I'm feeling ready to move forward!

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  63. So glad this month has finally arrived! And I love repetition! Sometimes it is the only way I remember things!

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  64. Wonderful book suggestions. Timely too. My latest attempt at fiction pb has a line of repetition that I'm trying to pace of place in the right spots. Thank you.

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  65. I agree, Carrie. Repetition is a very powerful tool for a writer. Thank you for these example titles.

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  66. Fantastic first post! I need to revise my topics for PB mentor texts this year!

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  67. Love these titles. They have put me in the zone for REFOREMO! I heard Bryan Collier read Knock Knock in NY....so when I read it again...I could here his voice. It reminded me how important repetition is for driving home a point to readers....or the heart to readers...and especially children. Thanks Carrie!

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  68. This is a great reminder of a very powerful tool. Thank you!

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  69. Thank you for this post! I particularly loved Knock Knock and how the word knock changes feeling throughout the book, from a playful sound, to a sad sound, to a determined sound. And the repetition of "he never comes" is heartbreaking.

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  70. I love repetition and refrains in children's books. And I am so glad you repeat ReFoReMo each year!

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  71. I'm always impressed with authors who can master this skill. Kid listeners love repetitive lines. Great kick-off post!

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  72. Great post! I had never thought through all of the various ways repetition could be used as a literary device. In Knock Knock, I love how the repetition of 'knock knock' at the beginning of the story makes the absence of it feel so powerfully empty later on. And, I love how the simplicity of the repetition can add so much deeper meaning to the text.

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  73. I appreciate repetition in PBs because it allows my students to participate in reading the books aloud with me. Once they've learned the repeated line(s), they love to chime in at the appropriate pauses in my reading.

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  74. Its true, our young audience members often gravitate toward the books they can help “read” as they confidently participate in the repetitive refrains. I saw this a lot as a first grade teacher and now as a mom to little ones.

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  75. Repetition helps emphasize a concept. It helps makes a PB fun to read aloud. I also like when there's a break in the repetition that underscores a change.

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  76. I love to work with repetition, whether in lines or structure. It emphasizes, contrasts, and, as you said, allows prediction and participation. And...it's always fun to break the pattern, too!

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  77. What a way
    to spend the day,
    Reading books is
    a great way to play!

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  78. What a great way to start the challenge! Last month I was reading picture books for my local library's challenge to read 40 books - for each year of the library. I noticed how repetition was used differently in the earlier books compared to the later books.

    Now, I plan to delve into more recent mentor texts to see how I can more effectively use repetition in my writing.

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  79. Had never though before to record 'repetition' when spotted in mentor texts. Thanks for that tip.

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  81. Thank you for the post. I am going to start a notebook just for this months mentor text notes. Time to look for some repetitive lines!

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  82. Thank you for not only offering terrific mentor text recommendations, but also helping us focus the ways in which we might read mentor texts so as to glean the most information possible.

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  83. Thanks for the great post Carrie, I checked out your list of bookshelves in Goodreads and found more great categories to consider as I start this next month of the ReFoReMo challenge. The concept is of repetition is a helpful reminder to write from the point of view of what appeals to young readers and pre readers.

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  84. Good post on repetition and specificity - those repetitions aren't boring sentences.

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  85. I love Little Red Gliding Hood! "Oh slippery slush!"

    Great 1st day of ReFoReMo!

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  86. I love sharing books with repeated phrases with children. They love to participate! by repeating the refrain.

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  87. Thank you for the lesson. Thank you for the lesson. (Repeat)

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  88. Thanks for this great post to kick things off. Repetition can be powerful when used effectively. In addition to the books you mentioned and the great examples in the comments, I love the way Miranda Paul utilizes repetition to build drama, interest, and tension throughout WATER IS WATER.

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  89. Thank you, Carrie, for the fine examples of repetition. I've got my notebook out, and keeping track of mentor texts. Loving March and ReFoReMo!

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  90. GREAT kickoff for 2018! I'm happy to be a "repeater!" Adding an element of repetition is a great way to liven up a manuscript. I'd not though of using Goodreads as a great reference. Thanks for the tips!

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  91. Interesting...I have used repetition in some of my stories.

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  92. I admire repetition and hope to develop this skill. I loved 'The Giant Jumperee' and the way that repetition moved the story forward. Thank you for getting us off to a great start.

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  93. Okay, I'm going to put a question on here but repeat it on facebook so others are more likely to answer. I have a picture book that I imagine being read in story hour at the library that allows the kids to move each time the repetition is read. It repeats a phrase 3 times in 7 scenes. Some have said to decrease the number of times it is repeated or build up to it, etc. so it doesn't become monotonous (or as some have said, overdone). How do you know how much is too much and how do I alter it to be just right? Thanks!

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    1. This is a difficult question to answer without reading the MS, but the "rule of threes" might lend itself well. As far as building up... maybe kids would enjoy a good tease where they think you are going to include the refrain, but say something else (maybe something silly) instead. Just a thought. Good luck

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    2. Yes, putting this question in the Facebook group will allow you to get more feedback from many perspectives. But, if you have seven scenes, it sounds like you may need to scale back your word count to start. Of course, I am speaking out of context without reading the MS. Are you saying 3 times over the course of the entire book? After reading my post, which category does your repetition fall into? By reading more mentor texts with repetition, I think you will start to feel the effectiveness and be able to start applying what you learn to your manuscript. Good luck and enjoy your research!

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  94. Thanks, Carrie. Repetition is definitely a skill I continue to work on in my own writing. BEAR SNORES ON, Oh No, George!, and DOGS ON THE BED are some of my favorite examples. I enjoy the way repetition can add more rhythm to a story or even break up the rhythm.

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    1. Thanks for the additional recommendations, Melanie!

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  95. I need to try repetition. I use the "rule of three" but they are usually three different things.

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  96. Repetition is one of my favorite techniques! Thank you for these title suggestions and the tools you've provided during research. KNOCK, KNOCK spoke to me as our family is dealing with a traumatic event. I find the repetition of the boy and his father's game playful yet comforting. It's a connection the boy can cherish and pass down to his children and generations to come. This book will help children and the adults who read it to them!

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    1. Knock Knock moves me to tears every time I read it. It has such power in the build. I hope your family makes it through,Nicki. I will be thinking of you.

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  97. Just working with repetition in a new manuscript. Thank you Carrie!

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  98. Thanks for a great start, Carrie! Looking forward to figuring out my own note-taking techniques!

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  99. I love repetition in PB texts. It makes them so fun to read. I remember reading Napping House by Audrey Wood over and over to my children. I do use it in my own writing but will consider using it even more often!

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  100. A great start, Carrie! I have a bit of repetition in a current ms, but I think it needs a bit more substance. This helps.

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  101. I like hearing and learning about tools for writing and improving PBs - over and over again! So, thank you, Carrie!

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  102. Yay! ReFoReMo has begun! Repetition enables young readers to feel a sense of comfort, familiarity, and ownership in the story and it's direction. Repetition for all learners imprints information and gives a sense of "knowledge ownership."

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  103. Thanks for a great post, Carrie. I like your note-taking method. And thanks for ReFoReMo 2018! Looking forward to a fabulous month!

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  104. Thanks, Carrie! One of my favorites is the repetition in THEY ALL SAW A CAT.

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  105. Thanks for this great post! I have noticed this whenever I read to my kids - repetition encourages them to actively engage with the story, by joining in with the repeated phrases. It can be the difference between a book they like and one they love.

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  106. Thanks for a great post. I think it is so important to think about why authors repeat a word, sentence, or phrase. Cynthia Rylant uses a repeated phrase to provide structure in her books In November and When I Was Young in the Mountains. Another favorite of mine is Miss Moore Thought Otherwise. Author Jan Pinborough uses a repeated sentence to remind us of an important character trait of her MC.

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  107. I love the repetition in ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY by Judith Viorst.

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  108. THanks, Carrie. I LOVE repitition in picture books--almost more than poetry!

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  109. Hi Carrie. Texas misses you! Do you think it's possible to over-do repetition? I've worried about that in some of my own manuscripts.

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    1. Hi, Sandy! I miss you, too, and Texas! Repetition can definitely be overdone. It needs to be carefully placed and chosen with all the right words in not too many places. Not as easy as it might seem, huh? Read mentor texts and play with your MSs. Have fun!

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  110. Great first ReFoReMo post! Some of these books were repeats for me, but I did notice new things.

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  111. This is my first time to participate in this reading challenge. I found out about it in the 12x12 Forum. I hope this is where I am supposed to comment to be included in the monthly challenge drawing at the end of the month.

    During my career as a Special Educator at the elementary school level, I purposely chose books with repetition to read to my students. My struggling readers felt successful as they participated in the reading of these books.

    It was exciting to see how children of various reading levels could enjoy such books together.

    Thank you for introducing me to some new picture books which have meaningful usage of repetition. I am retired now and pursuing my dream to write children’s books. It’s fun to look at the books from an author’s perspective.

    I read each of the books on your list and also did some of my research on-line, I came across some wonderful examples of how these books are being used in the classroom.

    Thank you for the tips on how you keep track of your research. Your ideas and those of others are very helpful!

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    1. Happy to be of help, Brenda! 12 x 12 is great! I'll be ninja-ing around the manuscript forum this summer. :)

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  112. My first comment was a liitle lengthy. 😊
    I appreciate everyone’s tips and comments.

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  113. Repetition is a terrific writing tool to study and apply. Repetition is something kids love to read and re-read. Repetition is a great topic for mentor text studies, and repetition is the perfect kick-off to this fun annual reading for research month. Thanks, Carrie!

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  114. I read "Knock Knock" last night and cried! Holy cow! Repetition can sometimes seem cheesy but it's used so poignantly in that book.

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    1. Yes! I cry every time I read it! If repetition is cheesy then it is not done well. It's books like Knock Knock that elicit emotion and power with repetition that make it beautiful and necessary. It breathes life into words when it's done right!

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  115. I apologize if I end up posting twice. My comments seems to have disappeared. Happy to be joining the challenge this year!

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  116. Special words or lines can be used as 'hooks'. Can help keep the child alert.

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  117. Thank you for this reminder of using the wonderful tool of repetition! This is useful! This is useful! This IS useful!

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  118. Yay! I'm so excited for another month of this! Thanks for this post. Repetition is such a wonderful tool in books and I have yet to include it in my own writing. Also - I loved your list of books. Several I never read and they were all excellent.

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  119. GO SLEEP IN YOUR OWN BED is such a great example of variation within repetition with great verbs like toddled, plopped, squealed, lowed, tromped, snuggled, bellowed, clucked, straggled, nestled, etc. (Chantal Ostroske - not sure if my name is appearing correctly!)

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  120. Thank you for your inspiring post, Carrie!

    One of my favorites, is "Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! by Maureen Wright.

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  121. "A doughnut and coffee" -- such a fan of Sit-In!

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  122. I find that repitition almost always pulls kids into the book and encourages much participation. Thank you for the great post!

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  123. Arin Wensley
    Thank you for selecting these books to help teach the art of using refrain in picture books.

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  124. I'm a fan of repetition and a fan of this post. Thanks, Carrie!

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  125. ReFoReMo is off to a great start with repetition!

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  126. I like how you suggested we pay attention to the emotions the repetition draws out. That's my new favorite way to analyze picture book text.

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  127. Carrie, this is a helpful reminder. Repetition in the text not only keeps drawing the child in, but it can give the adult reader a pattern or cadence in their reading aloud.

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  128. What a great start for this year's ReFoReMo!

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  129. My first-graders and I enjoy I Want my Hat Back (Klassen) with its "Have you seen my hat? Thank you anyway." repetition. Another favorite is And Here's to You (Elliott) which is quite encouraging with a side of cute repetitive verse.

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  130. I too love SIT-IN. Especially in these days of student protests. Thank you!

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  131. I love how repetition in a story engages the reader. Its fun to read aloud when the kids can jump in with the refrain. Thank you Carrie for kicking us off with a bang! So excited for this year!

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  133. I love your phrase, "Create read-aloud-ability." Repetition is a great way to do that. I love the repetition in Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin. Repetition is used brilliantly in that picture book. I always look for ways to use it in my stories. Thanks for #reforemo and for this post!

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  134. this is my first time doing this and I have not written any books nor illustrated any. I did PieBoldMo about two or 3 years ago. I really enjoyed the Plastic bag story and the Knock Knock. I would never have thought of doing repeats of words. I enjoyed the art in the books as well.

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  135. I managed to find Go Sleep in your own bed (which has now become a new favourite) and The Giant Jumperee. These are both excellent examples of repeating text for effect.
    (Not eligible for this prize as not in US.)

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  136. Loved seeing all the different affects repetition has — emphasis, predictability or to set up expectation, to build suspense. Can be powerful or fun and in between.
    Reading Sit-In I kept thinking of the Parkland shooting —and all the other school shootings — and thinking there will be books one day and how repetition will be powerful in that story. Each time a gun bangs dead we will be silenced no more. Each time a gun bangs dead we will be silenced no more.

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  137. I love Julia Donaldson's Room on the Broom for repetition as well. When reading aloud to a group, they all join in the whoosh they were gone line. Thanks for bringing more attention to the different types of repetition and how it is used. I had not read Knock Knock before.

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  138. Great examples on the effective use of repetition, Carrie! I find repetition difficult, so these books will certainly help me.

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  139. Thank you for a great post. As an early childhood educator, repetition would allow my students to participate in the literary experience even though they were pre-readers. classics such as We are going on a Bear Hunt and 5 little monkeys and Down by the bay would allow us to explore variations and rhythm while reading. As a writer, I like using repetition as a way to anchor a thought that helps a reader to understand the story arc.

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  140. I love repetition! Great start to a month I love!
    Many thanks for the mentor texts - excellent!

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  141. Carrie, your suggestions for note taking are incredibly helpful and timely, as I have just been struggling with how to find comps for manuscripts I am working on. Thanks so much for this post and for the ReFoReMo challenge (#3 for me :)). Learn so much each year.

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  142. Thank you for including such a wide variety of texts - everything from early readers like "A Loud Winter's Nap" to the breathtaking, heart-breaking, inspiring "Knock Knock - My Father's Dream for Me". I also really enjoyed reading "Sit-in". These books are great mentor texts for my writing. I also plan to use a lot of them in a variety of ways with my first graders. A simple repetitive book that I use to introduce memoir writing to them is "When I was Young in the Mountains" by Cynthia Rylant.

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  143. Greet the new ReFoReMo with a repeat! Who could ask for more! Woo Hoo!

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  144. Carrie: GREAT opening post to start off ReFoReMo with a BANG of inspiration! I especially like your advice to list how we feel as we read. Tying emotion in is KEY! THANK YOU! SO EXCITED for my THIRD YEAR! PS: I registered yesterday, but have not been able to locate my name.

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  145. Rosemary WhatleyMarch 1, 2018 at 8:49 PM

    Repetition is one of my favorite techniques. I adore reading books with it. I'm going to use your note taking advice to review these books so I can hopefully work it into my own!

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  146. I love the motivation for writing in repetition that you shared:
    -Create read-aloud-ability
    -Encourage readers to predict and feel confident
    -Establish structure
    Thank you for sharing your note taking process.

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  147. Breathing life into the language is the ultimate goal. Thanks for the great post.

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  148. Thank you for introducing me to the story, "Knock Knock." I love the use of repetition and I find the story and theme relevant and touching!

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  149. This is a perfect first post, as I am trying to lean how to use refrains properly. Thanks!

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  150. Thank you so much. I am really looking forward to learning from the research, posts and mentor text.

    The picture books that stick with me from childhood had repetition of text and repetition in imagery.

    I am looking forward to trying your note-taking approach.

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  151. I've mostly just thought of repetition in picture books as a way for the listener to anticipate and/or recite with the reader a portion of the story. I really liked how in One Plastic bag, the repetition served to reinforce the message of the book--that one action can have an impact both for good or bad.

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  152. Repetition rocks! Thank you for making me think intentionally about it. And thanks for the reminder to get my notebook together!

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  153. I read One Platic Bag to 5th graders today. I love the repetition that Miranda used to not only show the amounts, but to contrast the garbage and then sales of the purses. It created so much power for the story. Thank you for writing about keeping notes and tracking themes in Goodreads.

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  154. Great post...thanks for sharing!

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  155. Thank you for getting us started!

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  156. In Go Sleep in Your Own Bed, Fleming uses three patterns of repetition, which make up the entire book. Young children anticipate what's coming, but with different creatures. Such fun! In one of my books, I use a form of repetition but without the same actual words, and children enjoy anticipating that when the page is turned, the MC, a bird, is going to react in some way
    to creatures' pronouncements on the previous spread. And kids love "attitude," as in the animals' reactions in Go Sleep In Your Own Bed.

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  157. I was surprised to realize that almost every fiction PB I can think of relies on repetition in one form or another. Sometimes it's fairly subtle -- maybe just the first and last sentence echo each other -- but it's there.

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  158. Thanks for the good advice and for helping me to discover five PBs that were new to me. GO SLEEP IN YOUR OWN BED! is adorable. I enjoy repetition when reading--it makes a book especially fun to read to/with a class--and when writing.

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  159. What a great selection of picture books that demonstrate repetition. I used repetition in one of my earliest manuscripts. It is a great way to tie the text together throughout the book.

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  160. Repetition is an ancient storytellers tool. Think Homer. Whether it is Jon Klassen and his character wanting his hat, the Big Bad Wolf huffing and puffing, Dr. Seuss's I do not like Green Eggs and ham, what child/adult doesn't love chiming in with the refrain?

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  161. Having been a first grade teacher, I know how much they loved it when I would have them join me in the phrase that repeated itself. I love the repetitional phrases in picture books ! & yes that isn’t a word, but I also seem to like to make up words.

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  162. Great post - one of these books jumped out at me as a mentor text for an old story I'd shelved for awhile!

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  163. I love the idea of using a repeatbig refrain, and since I'm challengin myself to use mixed meter in rhyme, I want to incorporate a repeating refrain in a WIP. This post is so timely!

    Also, thanks for the encouragement to optimize note-taking on mentor texts. I want to improve on my methods from last year.

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  164. Great post, Carrie. I found a recent book where the repeated line establishes both structure and readability. But also brings the story full circle. In Kate Banks', PUP AND BEAR (2018), a Polar bear tells an abandoned wolf pup "I am not your mother, but I can (cuddle, feed . . .), as it raises the wolf pup. When the Wolf, now an adult, finds an abandoned polar bear cub, it repeats the line. I love THEY ALL SAW A CAT as well, both for its repetition and uniqueness, which Kristi talks about on Day 2.

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