Google “best books for 3-year olds” and you’ll see a lot of different titles. Olivia; Pete the Cat; Click, Clack, Moo (my personal favorite); and one of the How Do Dinosaurs books will probably make just about all of those lists.
But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Wyokiddo’s new favorite book is not among the recommendations. Her new choice for reading is the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Third Edition.
I can’t make this stuff up. We’ve read it three times today, and it’s only nap time. Yes, I use the term read loosely. We look at the photos. We talk about what birds live near us and other birds we’ve seen. I read her the description about some of the birds and tell her what they eat or what their songs sound like.
Right now, her obsession is hawks. I recently photographed this hawk sitting on the telephone pole near our home. We’ll flip through the pages of Buteos and look at red-tailed hawks and Swainson’s hawks, searching for the “one you took a picture of, Mommy.” When we’ve identified it, we browse the other pages with her calling out names of the birds she knows.
“That’s a willet!”
“Herons used to eat Daddy’s fish.”
“That’s a woodpecker. They eat bugs and ants in the trees.”
Or my favorite “We don’t have flamingos here. They live in Florida with Mickey Mouse.”
I guess she comes by it naturally. My sisters tell me my favorite book was a dictionary. I requested it be read to me so much, my father begged my sisters to hide it. A friend’s 6 year old likes “Weeds of the West.” I think the other Dirt Road Wife I know had a son obsessed with farm implement catalogs. Ag kids… 🙂
But she’s my kid, and she amazes me. I love her interest in what most grown ups would consider dull or obscure. And I marvel at her ability to recall names, concepts and associated facts. Perhaps we have a budding ornithologist on our hands. Maybe she will follow in Outdoor Guy’s footsteps and become a wildlife biologist. Or maybe she’s just a weird kid.
Any way it goes, I love my little bird lover and it saves me from reading Corduroy…