For months now, I've been reading from this Mother Goose collection with S, now aged four and three quarters (and five days!). When we started, I wasn't sure how much she was getting out of it, besides appealing animal illustrations and fun rhythms. "Half a pound of tuppenny rice, half a pound of treacle?" What could these words mean to an American child born in 2005? But she kept listening, so I kept reading.
She still doesn't understand every word, and occasionally she stops me with a question, but it's definitely been a worthwhile reading venture. S now has favorite rhymes that she recites herself, often in abridged versions that include the lines she understands and therefore remembers. Quotes from the rhymes appear in conversation; she loves the idea of "a secret never to be told" from "One for Sorrow, Two for Joy."
Better yet, she's learning to search for her favorites, and we spent one morning looking together for their first letters in the index. Even better, she started this week to use what she remembered of the rhymes to point to the words and "read" them.
But really, nothing beats her giggles at "From Wibbleton to Wobbleton is Fifteen Miles." Except maybe her singing along to the last line of that "Half a pound of tuppenny rice" business, which happens to be "POP! goes the weasel."