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Corduroy's Best Halloween Ever. Ten Times.

Ever the bookworm, Maddie will get into a
rut for her bedtime readings; she’ll fixate on two specific
books and ask for them over and over and over again each time until
everyone except her is heartily sick of them. Sometimes
they’ll have nothing to do with each other –
they’ll simply be the two books she’s interested in
right now. Other times there will be a theme – both books
about birthdays, say, or two books with bunnies in them. But most
times they’ll be two books in the same series, such as the
Little Wombat books, or the Corduroy series.

Maddie’s Gamma brought home two new Corduroy books recently
– one about a beach trip, and one about Corduroy’s
Halloween party. Going into her typical obsession mode, Maddie
listened to them over and over and over until we all had them

Including Maddie.

Maddie’s memorized books before
– it’s not difficult, for example, to commit to memory
a book like Eric Carle’s Brown Bear. But she’s
now absorbing much wordier books and discovering that she can
“read” them to others, and that, even more importantly,
adults will be mesmerized and impressed with her feat, and suddenly
she’s a performer in perpetual search of an audience.

My child has about five books in her current repertoire and if you
come over to visit it’s only a matter of time before she
reads them all to you. The first initial half hour around any new
adult is spent tongue-tied, but once Maddie warms up to you
she’ll quickly drag you back to her room and announce that
she’s going to read you a story. Sit back and prepare to look

She didn’t always read to others; originally Maddie simply
mimicked adults and would “read” her books to herself
or to Elmo during his bedtime. The first time I stumbled upon the
scene of Maddie reciting Corduroy’s Best Halloween
word-perfect to her furry friend I was astonished. Knowing
no one would believe me, I ran for the video camera and taped over
Madeleine’s shoulder, following along on camera. Maddie knows
when to turn pages and even stops to explain some of the pictures
to Elmo.

Once Maddie realized this was something that impressed adults, she
quickly moved to a more appreciative audience. Now she drags her
books from room to room and asks plaintively, “Mommy, can I
read to you?” We’ve had half a dozen friends around in
the past week or so, and all have heard just how wonderful
Corduroy’s Halloween was. My daughter even read the book to
our realtor the other day.

For those of you who think this is beyond a two-year-old’s
capability, I say, I beg to differ. And here’s some video to
prove it. Notice Maddie’s reading to her sister Cora –
she’s finally found a suitably impressed (and captive)


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