In which Annie (high school teacher, mother of two small girls and a baby boy) and her aunt Deborah (children's bookseller, mother of two young women in their 20s) discuss children's books and come up with annotated lists.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Who's that?"

Dear Aunt Debbie,

Animal Faces arrived today.  What an excellent book!  Isabel sat right down with it to examine the animals.  She opened to the page with camels:

 "Who's that?"
"That's a camel."
"Oh.  Who's that?"
"That's another camel."
"Who's that?"
"That's another camel.  They're all camels."
"Oh.  Who's that?"
 
We moved on to the seals, the rhinoceroses, the polar bears, the lions, and the foxes.

"Where's the wolfes?"
"The wolves?  I'll find them."

I found the wolves.


"Ohhhh, wolfes.  [pointing at each] One wolf, one wolf, one wolf, one wolf, one wolf, one wolf.  Aroooo!"

These two reactions -- "Who's that?" and "counting" -- are hallmarks of the reading experience with Isabel these days.  She's taken to asking us to read her fairly long picture books, books with text at a level that she doesn't get yet, and we work our way through them with her, narrating around the pictures as much as reading the actual words.

The biggest hit at the moment is our old favorite, Charles Santore's The Wizard of Oz. Isabel can identify all the characters, and explain the high points of the plot.   She's excited to dress up as Toto this Halloween (Eleanor planned out our Oz-themed costumes in March, and hasn't budged since then).  I think her repeated "Who's that?" is a way of reinforcing knowledge she already has, sometimes gaining new knowledge, and playing with the idea of testing my knowledge and getting me to come around to her point of view.

On the illustration of the Munchkins last night:


Isabel: "Those are goblins."
"No, they're Munchkins."
"Oh.  Who's that?"
"Munchkins."
"Who's that?"
"They're Munchkins."
"Who's that?"
"Munchkins."
"Who's that?"
"They're called Munchkins."
"Who's that?"
"Goblins."
Isabel, finally satisfied: "Oh."

We're loving age two around here.

Love, Annie

2 comments:

  1. Could it be constructivism in action? Hehe. What a wonderful book though!

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