Rarely does Elly gnaw on the cover of a book or tear pages out of a book anymore. Factor in her increased desire to read books and all of a sudden the two bookcase shelves that were dedicated to her no longer looked like a large enough children’s library.
Oddly enough, there was no need to buy more books. Even before Elly was no more than a twinkle in my eye, I collected children’s books. From Dr Seuss to Shel Silverstein, I loved them all and would buy them to read over and over again.
As a baby, Elly had an appetite for books. She literally tried to eat them. When one of my favorite children’s books was destroyed, I packed the rest away and put them in Elly’s closet.
On Sunday, I pulled several boxes out. Now Elly has 3 bookcase shelves jammed tight with books, two in the living room and one in her bedroom.
More boxes are still in her closet, but they are mostly chapter books and will likely stay there for another year or so until Elly learns the true beauty of books: words are far prettier than any hand drawn picture. I imagine that realization will come after she learns to read.
Of course, I don’t know for certain how to teach Elly to read. Dan and I read to her, spell words out to her (which seems mean when you realize that the only letters Elly knows are O and E), write words and encourage her natural curiosity about the alphabet. I’m kinda hoping the ability to read will just click into place like a puzzle piece. Already Elly likes to “read” books all by herself, so perhaps we are doing something right. By “read”, I mean she has memorized the book and can retell it by heart. Although, the other day she surprised us by recognizing the names Elly, Mom and Dad, but I suppose she’s probably memorized those words too. Still, we’re proud parents.
I myself read a ton every single day and yet I haven’t read a traditional novel since before Elly was born. Instead I read the news, a ridiculous amount of sewing and knitting blogs, recipes, emails, road signs, etc. The sooner Elly can read, the sooner she can enjoy the amazing written world all around her. I just know she’s going to love it.
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