Yesterday my daughter eagerly called to me to tell me that she had just read a book by herself, not just looking at the pictures but reading the words. And she wanted to read it to me. We were running late for a holiday party, but I was naturally unable to resist saying "OK, read the book to me."
She had a little pile of books from the Little Critter Phonics Fun Set, which I received from HarperCollins, and which she adores. These books are much-simplied versions of existing Little Critter titles, each focusing on a particular series of sounds. They are tiny square paperbacks, ~5" in size, and easy to hold. She shuffled through the stack until she came to the one she wanted, and then she began:
"Going to the Sea Park. By Mercer Mayer."
Then she "read" the book to me. She didn't actually look at the text at all, so I know that she wasn't technically reading. And she wasn't letter-perfect - this wasn't a book that she had memorized, word for word. But she knew it well enough to come up with the gist for each page.
Then, even though we were getting later and later for the party, I let her read me another (A Green, Green Garden). I especially loved that she shared the title and author before opening each book, as I do when I read to her. She's learned that this is the proper way to read a book to someone.
I suggested that she read me more of the books on our way to the party, but she wanted me to be able to see the pictures, so we had to stop. But I was happy that even in the midst of a weekend of holiday craziness, we made time for another little literacy milestone. (And don't tell Baby Bookworm, but she's receiving the Ramona boxed set from her godparents for Christmas. Looking forward to giving those a try as a read-aloud.) Wishing you all quiet moments for books over the holiday season.