I started reading to Wallace before he was born, though I wasn’t very consistent about it then or during his first year. At some point, he started loving books and being read to and it has only grown from there. I used to keep a list of all the picture books we have on GoodReads and stopped bothering around 400… Seeing as I keep getting more from thrift stores and my mom keeps getting more from book orders, we are likely well over that now.
Over the summer, I decided to start trying some classic chapter books and see if he had the attention span to follow along. Every time we would start reading, I would recap what had happened and ask him questions. I happened to have Charlotte’s Web so we started there. It was probably a bit long for him, but when we were done we watched the movie. Which, by the way, he thought was very scary. Next we read the first Winnie the Pooh. He loved it even though I don’t think he got much of it. I tried Ramona the Brave after that, but one day a lady in a waiting room interrupted me, claiming I was reading too fast, and Wallace didn’t want to read it anymore. We followed that with the second Winnie the Pooh, which I didn’t like as much. Wallace took to making up titles in the style of A. A. milne. “Chapter Five. In which….” He had some hilarious ones that I should have written down. We also tried Toys Go Out, which a friend recommended, but I think it was too abstract for him.
Today, we were heading to get my hair cut, so I grabbed the first Magic Tree House book. We finished it in two sections while I waited forever for my turn (it’s a really popular barber shop that doesn’t make appointments and they make this queer momma feel welcome). He loved it! I asked him questions as we went along and we talked about the pictures. Later at home, I asked if he wanted to look through it with Gramma and tell her what it was about. He amazingly retold the entire thing quite well according to my mom (she’s been a teacher for 30 years and worked with teaching reading and comprehension).
Sharing books with him has gotten increasingly exciting over the lasy year and I hope I am getting him on the right path to be a lifelong reader and learner. He recognizes authors and illustrators, follows along with favorites, and recently discovered the Table of Contents. Tomorrow, we start My Father’s Dragon.