Cumulative Tales

Cumulative tales are simple stories with repetitive phrases. There is not much plot involved, but the rhythm structure of these tales is very appealing to children. Events follow each other logically in a pattern of cadence and repetition, sequentially repeating actions, characters, or speeches until a climax is reached. Examples of cumulative tales are "The House That Jack Built" and "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly."

Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
(Dial, 1980)
Written by Verna Aardema
Illustrated by Beatriz Vidal
One Fine Day
(MacMillan, 1971)
Written and illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
(Viking, 1997)
Retold and illustrated by Simms Taback