The other day my daughter read a book that I had purchased for her back in August: Cardboard by Doug TenNapel. She said something along the lines of not having thought, based on the cover and title, that it would be interesting. She expressed her surprise that it was in fact interesting.
Then she started to tell me what made it a good book. I don't remember the exact details, but it was something along the lines of: "Well, there was a good guy, and a villain who is a bully, and then there are all these bad guys from the cardboard, and the plot was interesting, and there's a twist, and... " You get the idea.
Thanks to her book-loving third grade teacher, she's progressed this school year from just saying: "This is a great book. I love it. You should write about it." Now she wants to tell me why something is a good book. This is an important step on the path to being a true reader. If we know why we like certain books, we can more easily find other books that are like them. We can better recommend them to others, by pointing out their key features.
Maybe when her writing skills advance a little bit further I will set her to work writing reviews for this blog. Given that my own enthusiasm for writing them has waned quite a bit, this might be just the ticket...
I am very much enjoying see her mature as a reader and a writer this year.