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Early Imitation & Emerging Language Stories 7-Book Set
Ages: 1-5   Grades: Infant-K

This set of seven board books provides a fun, convenient way to model early language skills.  A developmental skill progression and engaging art work make it a choice tool for professionals and parents.


  • Produce first words
  • Increase sound repertoire
  • Produce beginning and ending sounds in words
  • Use two-word phrases
  • Build functional vocabulary
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Much more than typical storybooks, these durable board books are an enjoyable way to interact with young children while simultaneously providing language and speech sound stimulation.  The skills advance within each book and between the books, giving caregivers a teaching framework.  The fun, vivid illustrations, character repetition, and carefully crafted text guide children to:

  • expand early sound play into first-words
  • use vocabulary that facilitates speech sound development and vice versa
  • interact back and forth and communicate

The Early Imitation & Emerging Language Stories 7-book set consists of:

  • Gestural Imitation—Imitate simple gestures like clapping hands and pointing to body parts; stimulate back and forth interactions.
  • Vocal Imitation—Build a repertoire of playful sounds like "wheee" and meaningful sound combinations like "uh-oh" and "pop, pop" to using words.
  • First Words—Point to and name common objects like ball, cup, dog, and shoe.
  • Early Speech Sounds: CVCV—Develop early speech sounds and acquire functional vocabulary with repetitive syllable words like mama, dada, boo-boo, and no-no.
  • Early Speech Sounds: CV—Train simple one-syllable words that begin with sounds that typically develop by three years of age (b, p, m, n, t, d, k, g, h, w).  
  • Early Speech Sounds: CVC—Produce consonant sounds at the beginning and end of one-syllable words.  The sounds are those that typically develop around three years of age (b, p, m, n, t, d, k, g, h, w).  Pictures are presented in minimal pairs of CV and CVC words so children detect final consonant sounds (e.g., bow-boat, pea-peep).
  • Two-Word Phrases—Combine familiar words and pictures to create short phrases such as "want cookie," "night-night baby," and "my ball," using common early vocabulary words.

Copyright © 2012

7-Book Set: each board book 14 5¼" x 6¼" coated pages
  • Infants and toddlers with delayed speech and language skills showed significant improvements in understanding and using new words when an adult presented words in isolation and using telegraphic speech with the assistance of picture books.  Children with developmental delays benefited from target word repetitions in both play and literacy contexts (Wolfe & Heilman, 2010).
  • Children with fewer than 50 words and limited two-word phrases at 2 years old are at risk for later speech, language, and learning disabilities.  Early intervention services are recommended to prevent later academic problems (Rescorla, Dahlsgaard, & Roberts, 2000).

Early Imitation & Emerging Language Stories incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Rescorla, L., Dahlsgaard, K., & Roberts, J. (2000). Late-talking toddlers: MLU and IPSyn, Outcomes at 3;0 and 4;0. Journal of Child Language, 27, 623-644.

Wolfe, D.L., & Heilman, J. (2010). Simplified and expanded input in a focused stimulation program for a child with expressive language delay (ELD). Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 26(3), 335-346.


Sarah E. Hodson, M.A., CCC-SLP


Speech sounds that typically develop by the age of 3 include: b, p, m, n, t, d, k, g, h, w.  One of the easiest ways to produce these early sounds is at the beginning of simple 1-syllable consonant - vowel combinations.  Early Speech Sounds: CV is designed to encourage imitation of early developing speech sounds as well as to promote the development of a functional vocabulary.

Producing consonant sounds at the beginning and ending of words is an important step to being a successful communicator.  Early Speech Sounds: CVC targets early developing consonant sounds in familiar consonant – vowel – consonant words by contrasting these words with consonant-vowel combinations.

Early in speech development, children often use these sounds in simple words with repetitive syllables (consonant – vowel – consonant – vowel).  Early Speech Sounds: CVCV is designed to encourage imitation of early developing speech sounds as well as to promote the development of a functional vocabulary.  The target words are in bold.

The first words children say are often labels for common objects.  First Words provides a variety of pictures of familiar objects.  Name the pictures with your child and point to the pictures as you read.

The ability to copy or imitate gestures is an important skill which helps build the foundation for vocal imitation and speech development.  Gestural Imitation is designed to encourage children to copy simple gestures as well as promote back and forth interactions.

Once children have approximately 50-100 words in their vocabulary, they begin to combine words to produce short phrases.  Two-Word Phrases combines familiar words and pictures while creating some of the first short phrases you might hear your child say!

The ability to copy or imitate sounds is an important skill which helps build the foundation for imitation and spontaneous use of words and phrases.  Vocal Imitation is designed to promote sound production during play as well as encourage children to copy environmental sounds.