I was kvelling this morning. In fact, my maternal, literacy specialist pride has continued all afternoon. Less than an hour after Isabelle woke up (still sick) she wanted me to read her some picture books. Feverish and upset, she sat in the floor looking forlorn.
“Do you want to read Chloe, instead?” I asked.
“(Ye)sss,” she responded enthusiastically.
“Hand me Chloe, instead.”
I wasn’t hopeful since the books were on their sides. However, she proved me wrong by scanning the book spines, located it quickly, and handed it to me. Praise ensued. Then, the read aloud commenced.
A few minutes later my husband came into the room. I placed Chloe, instead back in the bin and asked her to hand it to me again (as if the poor girl were a trained monkey). She grabbed the wrong book.
“She just did it,” I told him. He nodded. I wondered if he believed me so I said, “Izzy, would you hand me Chloe, instead?”
This time she scanned the book bin, found the book’s pink spine and handed it to me.
“Great job finding the book,” I told her. But I wasn’t done. “Hand me On the Night You Were Born, please.”
She scanned the book bin. I held my breath. Ten seconds later she lifted On the Night You Were Born from the bin.
“Wow Izzy! You found it.”
I looked at my husband with a big smile. “Isn’t that incredible?”
“Yes, it is,” he replied.
“I need to brag about it a little,” I said. “I know adults who can actually read might not be able to locate a book by its spine alone. They need to read the title.”
He nodded and smiled. He seemed pleased though not as thrilled as I was. (That’s because he doesn’t work in the literacy field.)
I’m not trying to brag about this accomplishment, which is small in the grand scheme of things. My child is two years-old and she’s not really reading. I get that. However, identifying a book by its spine impressed me! Identifying the books by their spine this morning connects back with the way she’s starting to identify books by their covers. It made my heart happy to know that all of the immersion she has with books matters. Repetition, with regard to reading the same books, matters.