Since Wally was able to crawl toward books, he has at every opportunity. At 12 months old, he would find the mouse on every page of “Goodnight Moon”. At 15 months he’d be too quiet out of my sight for a while, and I’d find him surrounded by a pile of books he was paging through. By 20 months old, when he started talking, he had entire books memorized.

He gets this love of books from me—evidenced by the fact that his dad will not read books to him if they are too long. I discovered this when Wally Ben stopped asking me to read The Night Before Christmas after a few weeks of loving it in December. I asked him why, when he turned me down to read it a few times, and he said, “Because that book has too many words.” That sounds like a direct quote from his dad, so from now on W4 knows to say he doesn’t want to read certain books “because Mommy likes to read those ones.” That will keep our bookworm from turning his back on the longer ones that have too many words for his daddy! (If you ask me, this is a crying shame, since his dad creates the best voices for characters and could entertain us all for a straight reading of War and Peace if he wanted to!)

WV loves the Elephant and Piggie books, Olivia, and How Do Dinosaurs… series. I love all of these, too. He just recently started requesting Little Critter books, which I picked up at a garage sale last summer. I got about 15 of these Little Critter paperbacks, since  I had some of these books when I was growing up and really enjoyed them. It amazes me the sense of nostalgia that I feel when I recognize the pictures and can remember which ones I had on my shelves as a kid.

WV has just recently started getting attached to some of the longer picture book stories (that his daddy loves so much—wink wink). I am the only one who reads him these books, so I have read them as often as WV has. Despite that, he still knows the words way better than I do. I caught him browsing through a recent favorite, How I Became a Pirate, and he would recite entire pages with great accuracy. He says “Brainbeard” instead of “Braidbeard” and “enfused” instead of “confused”, but he has the idea! Here’s a video I took of one of the pages:

So you can follow along, the book says:
—except for maybe swabbing the decks. I wanted to be a pirate forever.
But then I found out what else they don’t do. When I couldn’t stay awake any longer, I asked Braid Beard to tuck me in and read me a story. “Tuck you in?” he bellowed. “Pirates don’t tuck!” “No tucking!” the crew cried. And the only thing they had to read was a map. “Don’t you have any books?” I asked. Braid Beard looked confused. “Books?” I didn’t even bother to ask about a goodnight kiss.

Wow, as I typed that, I realized that is a long paragraph, and he has most of the 20 or so pages like that memorized! Like parents do, I am looking forward to the next stage. I can’t wait until he is old enough to enjoy a reading of a few pages out of a good chapter book at night. (Clearly this will be a bedtime routine for me and not daddy!) My little reader. I hope he loves books this much forever!