Saturday, August 29, 2015

Reading with Little Miss Muffet, August 2015

New Book Behaviors

Every month when I sit down to write about Miss Muffet's latest book-related activities, I am always surprised by how many new things she is always doing. This month I've noticed three new behaviors:

  • Identifying books by title. For a while, Miss Muffet would request her books based on the characters. "Read Stanley book." "Read Gumpy book." But within the past couple of weeks, she has suddenly become aware of titles. Now she brings the books over and presents them by name: "Stanley the Farmer," "Mr. Gumpy's Outing," etc. (Incidentally, she has also started requesting specific songs instead of just demanding loudly that somebody sing.)
  • Pointing out the author's photo. Earlier this month, Miss Muffet was constantly pointing to author photos on the back flaps of picture books and saying, "Man," or "Lady." Each time, I off-handedly mentioned that the man or lady she was talking about was the person who wrote the book, or the author. All of a sudden, one day, she stopped saying man or lady, and started saying, "Aw ther." (Now to teach her to say illustrator...) 
  • Reading aloud to herself. Miss Muffet has been "reading" independently for months, but usually not aloud. Now, though, she has started repeating to herself certain words and phrases as she flips through the pages of her favorite books. In just the past week or so, I have seen her "read" the entire last page of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and perfectly imitate my reading of several of the board books we received in the mail from Little Bee Books. 

Current Favorites

Here are Miss Muffet's latest favorite books, which are read at least daily in our house.

  • You're a Big Sister by David Bedford, illustrated by Susie Poole
    We have less than five weeks until Miss Muffet's official promotion to big sister, so we are talking a lot about babies. My mom sent her this book, which focuses on what new babies do, and how big sisters can participate, without going into too many details about how babies get here. I do wish it talked some about mommy going to the hospital and the big sister getting to visit, but even without that information, it's one of the better sibling picture books I've seen. 
  • My Best Ever: ABC Alphabet Book
    My mom also bought this book, which she was hoping would keep Miss Muffet busy. It has worked for the most part, as there are lots of little doors to open and textures to explore. The favorite word Miss Muffet has learned from this book is "iguana," which she pronounces "all gone-a." 
  • Peter Rabbit's ColorsThis book was mine as a child and it came home with us after our recent visit to New York. Miss Muffet has just started learning her colors, so this book gives her some good practice, but more than that, I think she just really likes Beatrix Potter's animal illustrations. 
  • Imogene's Antlers by David Small
    This book is also mine from childhood, and I didn't anticipate that Miss Muffet would take any interest in it at all. Strangely, though, she keeps bringing it to the couch whenever anyone is sitting there and saying, "Read!" The surprise ending (spoiler alert) has also really gotten her interested in peacocks.
  • More More More said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
    I have always enjoyed reading this book aloud, but my husband and I have both now read it so many times that we had to finally put it away for a little while. Miss Muffet really loves to point out the different characters and call them by name, however, and she is especially fascinated by Little Pumpkin and her grandma.

One Tip from Mom

  • Don't automatically rule out longer books. Though it might not happen often, there are occasions when a toddler can actually sit for the length of a longer story. For weeks, Miss Muffet kept bringing me The Happy Lion, and I would avoid reading it to her because I knew there was no way she would sit for such a long story with so many words per page. Then, one day, she was particularly insistent, and to my surprise, not only did she sit for the whole story, but she also started repeating the word "Bonjour" over and over again. She wound up getting quite a bit out of the listening experience, and I realized that perhaps my refusal to read her a title I consider a "preschool" book was a bit short-sighted after all. 

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