My three-year-old's latest literacy milestone involves memorizing books. This is not exactly a brand-new behavior, but it has accelerated greatly in recent weeks. A year ago, when I'd read one of her favorites aloud, she might chime in with a punchline here and there. But now? If I get a single word wrong when reading aloud a book we've read a few times, she swoops in to correct me. Often with peals of laughter and exclamations of "Silly Mommy!". And as regular bedtime readers-aloud know, it is very, very easy to get a word wrong when one is sleepy...
I know that this sort of memorization is common, but her level of detail surprises me sometimes. I mean, how many books can she hold, word-for-word, in that little head of hers? More than I, certainly.
A side benefit of this memorization is that my daughter can "read" to herself, when no adult reader is available. I have a delightful iPhone video of her quietly reading a book to herself in the back of the car. (My husband was driving - I suffer from motion sickness and can't read in the car.) I've also enjoyed seeing her "read aloud" to her dolls from time to time.
I'm not sure exactly how this memorization plays in to learning to read, but I'm sure that it's a step along the way. Not that we're in any rush. We're having a great time just as things are.