When my friends threw Annabel a baby shower I asked them to tell my guests not to bring gifts – if they were so moved to spend money, I hoped they would donate to Friends of Maddie. My friends listened to me…sort of. They expressed my wishes for donation, but still asked that everyone bring their favorite book to add to Annabel’s collection. When I arrived at the shower I was so happy to see all of my friends toting a book to give to Annie.

Getting so many amazing, meaningful books was such a special gift. Annie now has her own copy of children’s classics like “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “Where The Wild Things Are,” and “Goodnight Moon.” She also has some books which, if they aren’t classics yet, may be one day:

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The girl in the window? Totally a baby Snooki.

As can be expected, Annabel didn’t have much interest in these books when she was a baby, but now that she is a worldly and sophisticated toddler she is obsessed with them:

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Annie received so many books, in fact, that we were able to give our little book worm her very own shelf on our book case:

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The best part about her shelf? It is located at the perfect Annie level:

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That’s the one I want! Right there!!!!

Annie will sit on the floor and flip through the pages of her books all by herself, babbling as if she’s reading to herself. I die from the cuteness. But, she still loves to be read to. She will cruise over to me, or Mike, or Rigby with a book in hand, then drop it in front of you and demand, “Up!”Β  She still doesn’t really understand that Rigby doesn’t speak English.

Mike is very good with this. He puts Annie on his lap and reads the book to her with funny voices and great enthusiasm. He is very good, I should clarify, the FIRST time he reads it. By nighttime, when Annie is asking him to read the same book yet again for the twentieth time that day, his readings leave a lot to be desired.

I love that Annie loves books. She may not totally understand what they are about just yet, but she sees them as fun, and enjoys the ritual of opening a book and turning the pages. This is important, and a good sign that she is going to turn into a reader like her mama. And who knows? I may even one day let her read my precious copy of “Gone With The Wind” that my grandmother gave me. Assuming, of course, that she outgrows her nasty little habit of accidentally ripping pages out of books. Yay board books!