Thursday, June 29, 2017

Reading with Little Miss Muffet and Little Bo Peep, June 2017

Reading with Little Miss Muffet

Miss Muffet has continued to blossom as a new reader this past month. She is zipping through the Hooked on Phonics readers and has also been sounding out sections of the McGuffey Primer, and even some of the books we normally read aloud to her.  I plan to go through the box of easy reader books we have stashed away for her to see whether there are some she might be able to read between now and the end of the summer. She is loving all the characters in the Hooked on Phonics books, but they are pretty bland, and I think we will all enjoy seeing her read books with more interesting characters.

In addition to her own independent reading, I have been reading tons of picture books aloud to Miss Muffet at bedtime. By far, the best reaction she has had to any book in recent memory is her outright laughter at Julius, the Baby of the World. There is a section of the story where Lilly, the older sister, writes a mean story about baby Julius which reflects her jealousy over all the attention he gets from their parents. In the story, Lilly claims that if Julius were a number, he'd be zero, and if he were a fruit, he'd be a raisin. Then she writes,  "Zero is nothing. A raisin tastes like dirt. The end." When I read this last part, Miss Muffet broke out into uncontrollable giggles. When I quoted those lines to her again the next day, we both laughed at our inside joke. This is the first sign she has really shown of a sense of humor. She laughs at silliness, of course, but this was the first time I really thought she understood a joke.

Miss Muffet has also recently been enjoying Five Minutes' Peace and A Quiet Night In by Jill Murphy, Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney (see Miss Muffet's review here!), The Star-Spangled Banner by Peter Spier, We the People by Peter Spier, The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Ruth Sanderson, and selections from My Bookhouse Volume 3, Through Fairy Halls. She's also taken a liking to a few new titles from our current library pile: Poppy Louise is Not Afraid of Anything by Jenna McCarthy and Molly Idle, If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky and Ted Rand, and Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal.

Reading with Little Bo Peep

At 21 months, Bo Peep has definitely begun her descent into the terrible twos, complete with an inclination to say no to absolutely everything. One of her favorite things to say when I call her over to me for a diaper change, or to put her shoes on, or to go lie down is, "No! I readin'." And often, she does have a book in hand. Recent favorites that she has been "readin'" are Mr. Grumpy by Roger Hargreaves, No, David by David Shannon (which she often "reads" aloud in imitation of her sister), Gossie and Gertie by Olivier Dunrea and Gideon and Otto by Olivier Dunrea.

Bo Peep is also starting to learn how to shop for used books. While we were on vacation last week, she selected two books in a used bookstore, both of which we ended up purchasing: A House is a House For Me, which we previously only owned in paperback, and Nursery Rhymes by Douglas Gorsline. So far, she has refused to let anyone read them to her, but she happily paraded them around her grandmother's house "readin' to self."

Because of her aversion to letting adults read to her, Bo Peep's been getting a lot of "secondhand read-alouds" lately. Since she typically won't sit for a story, we read to her sister in her presence so she can hear the stories even if she doesn't want to participate. She also seems to enjoy poetry picnics, when she can nibble a cookie while listening to short poems.

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