book buying yesterday...but this time I promise you that the books are presents for small humans. Small humans need books.
The day before yesterday I had the totally delicious experience of snuggling up with the youngest granddaughter of the neighbour who acted as Florence Nightingale when I sliced my thumb. We read a picture book together.
A...is "three and more than a half" and already passionate about books and words. On the days that her grandparents care for her she gets at least a half a dozen books read to her but, given half a chance, she will come over to me and ask me to read with her.
Her grandparents read to her. They do it well too. Her grandfather is particularly good at making the appropriate noises in the appropriate places. Her grandmother talks about the pictures and helps her to read them.
But A... is getting ready to read. She almost knows the letters of the alphabet. She can read her own name. She can read her sister's name. She recognises several other words without hesitation. And so, if we read a book, we read it together. I let her choose the pace and try to make sense of those strange squiggles on the page. I let her tell me about the pictures because reading the pictures is an important part of reading the story. I'll tell her that a word like "elephant" is one she knows already. I have to judge whether she needs me to tell her, guide her, encourage her or let her go her own way.
"You're reading her, aren't you?" her mother commented when she came to find us all.
Yes, I suppose I am reading a small human. It's a difficult task. I don't always get it right either. She will tell me, "I do so know that word!" Oops!
But reading her is like reading a good book. Her plotting is unexpected and exciting and I want to go on reading.