Monday, February 27, 2017

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

Here are some highlights from reading with Little Miss Muffet (3 years, 3 months) and Little Bo Peep (17 months) in February:

  • Miss Muffet has been really interested in ballet since we watched a video of The Nutcracker just before Christmas. This had led to us reading a variety of ballet-themed books recently, including picture book versions of Swan Lake, The Royal Book of Ballet, Bea at Ballet, and Angelina Ballerina. Angelina Ballerina has become a particular favorite, and Miss Muffet can often be heard "reading" the book aloud to herself at quiet time.
  • Miss Muffet has also really been enjoying Bob, Not Bob! by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Matthew Cordell. This is a new picture book about a boy with a cold who keeps calling for his mother, but because his nose is stuffy, his dog, Bob, comes instead. I really struggle with reading this book aloud, and I don't think I would ever feel confident enough to share it in storytime, but Miss Muffet thinks it is hilarious. It's another title that has been in her pile for quiet time and many afternoons, I hear her laughing and calling out "Bob, not Bob!" in her best nasal voice. This is definitely not a book I would have guessed a three-year-old would understand or appreciate, but clearly I was mistaken.
  • I was surprised just the other day, too, when Miss Muffet read a word! We were reading Blackberry Ramble by Thacher Hurd, on the last page of which Baby Mouse falls asleep. The word "Zzzzz" appeared on the page, but I usually make a snoring sound instead of reading it phonetically. On this particular reading, though, Miss Muffet pointed to the long string of Z's and read it right out loud! We still have a lot of letter sounds to work through before she is ready to really start reading, but she definitely felt a great sense of pride in herself and it was really fun to see her surprise herself by truly reading for the first time.
  • Little Bo Peep has taken a liking to walking around the house with small books. She prefers either the Gossie series (which she calls "Gah!") or the Little Miss and Mr. Men books. We can't leave her alone with these, as she shreds paper pages, but if she can be supervised, she prefers to have at least one of these in hand at all times. She will occasionally tolerate someone reading a Gossie book to her, but so far the Little Miss/Mr. Men titles are just for show.
  • We received a couple of new board books from Little Bee Books that were published at the beginning of this month: Flamingos Fly and Bears are Big, both by Douglas Florian. Bo Peep has mainly been using board books as objects to throw out of the playpen when she is tired of being in there, but she did seem to like both of these books when we first read them. I didn't think they were quite as strong as Florian's Leap, Frog, Leap!, which is part of the same series, but I love the colorful artwork, and I think both of these new titles would work nicely in a baby or toddler story time.
  • The only book Bo Peep listens to with any regularity is The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz. She does the hand motions for many of the verses, and if I leave out the word "town" at the end of each verse, she will fill it in. She typically loves Katz's artwork, but this is the only book of hers that has been singled out as a favorite.
  • Finally, we had a Valentine's Day tea party this month during which we read my childhood favorite, It's Valentine's Day by Jack Prelutsky, as well as other love-themed poems from The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. It was a lot of fun, and it makes me excited for planning some poetry picnics for this spring and summer!  

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