When you've just turned two, Madeline is a pretty long book. But A has embraced this tale of a Parisian appendectomy since she was one and a half.
At first, the brightly colored illustrations were the main attraction. "Ssssun," she would point out as she lingered on the endpapers. "SUN!" Meanwhile, I read as much of the rhythmic text as she would let me, hoping she enjoyed whatever she understood.
Last night, the first evidence came that A had some awareness of the plot. We were on the next-to-last page, the one that shows Madeline's eleven roommates crying, "We want to have our appendix out, too!" A zeroed in on Madeline's empty bed. "UH-OH!" she said urgently as she pointed. Like Miss Clavell, she realized that something was not right.
A and those twelve little girls in two straight lines have two skills essential for readers:
1) Smile at the good.
2) Frown at the bad.