When Emily was younger, I wondered whether we read to her enough. I needn't have worried. She has become the biggest bookworm I've ever encountered in a child her age. Granted, I haven't encountered a vast amount of children her age, but it's still quite impressive.
Her books are all over the house. A full bookshelf in the living room. Some more books on two small shelves by her new wardrobe. More in a basket in her room. Two hidden away in my dresser for when I desperately need to keep her entertained while I'm dressing up. Two more in her changing bag and one hanging off the side of the buggy. Oh and four bath books in the bathroom.
I'm not sure how many books they all amount to, but it's a large amount. A very large amount. I seem unable to walk into a bookshop or browse Amazon without buying yet another book for her. It's good for her, I argue.
Lately she's worked out that she can specifically ask us to read to her.
"Bk," she'll say and sign book.
"Would you like me to read to you?"
She'll nod, carefully. "Yish."
"Choose a book."
She'll scan her bookshelf (we're usually in the living room, which is where her largest book collection lives), while tapping her fingers on the shelf (I kid you not!), and she'll soon pick out her favourites having recognised their spines.
She'll look over to me or her dad and pat her thigh a few times. "Ca, ca!" (Come)
This is what we do to signal to her that she should come over to us and therefore it has become necessary for her to pat her thigh whenever she wants to come to us.
"Come and sit here," I'll tell her, patting my thigh.
She'll eagerly come and sit down beside me or on my lap. "The-tew!" (Thank you)
And we'll read while she follows attentively and lifts the flaps or feels the touchy-feely bits. Once the book is finished, she'll sign finished and the entire process begins again.
Some days, we can go through the entire bookshelf in a day, sometimes twice. And then we'll read more books in her room before she sleeps. I won't pretend I always have the huge amount of patience necessary. Some days are easier than others but since she's started pointing at pictures in books and saying the correct words, I'll admit I'm finding more patience for the whole thing. Seeing the fruit of my labour makes it much easier to appreciate the good it's doing.
This is her living room bookshelf:
My sister couldn't help herself, apparently, and had to organise it in her OCD way a few weeks ago. It lasted all of three minutes.
Emily's current favourites are:
* Baby Faces (Look Baby Books)
* Big Book of Beautiful Babies Board Book
* Moo, Baa, La La La (Boynton)
* Where Is Baby's Belly Button? (Karen Katz Lift-the-Flap Books)
* My First Gruffalo: Colours
* My First Gruffalo: Touch-and-Feel
* Goodnight Moon (thanks to Maureen of Island Fairy for recommending this one!)
* Dear Zoo
* Where's Spot?
(PS: And if anyone is going to buy any of these books, it would be really really nice if you bought them via the links above as I will get commission. Cheeky? Quite.)
This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for reading.