I'm currently reading a lavishly illustrated book on Nelson, Napoleon, and the Battle of the Nile. My daughter, who turns three a week from today, came and sat next to me on the couch as I was reading. I didn't expect her to pay much attention to my book, since she usually doesn't, except to close them and replace them with the book she thinks I should be reading to her. (She's clearly discovered the two things guaranteed to make me drop what I'm doing and devote my full attention to her--bring me a book to read or show up with her toy baseball and bat. I wouldn't be much of a writer and bookworm if I didn't encourage her love of books, after all. And if you refuse to play baseball with your child, taunting voices in your head begin singing, "The cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon/Little Boy Blue and the man in the moon...")
Of course, most of the books I read don't have pictures. It turned out my girl was happy to spend nearly half an hour on this one, since it was full of tall ships, assorted fortresses, palaces, and cathedrals, and men and the occasional woman in elaborate attire. Or, as she put it, pirate ships ("Arrr!"), castles, pirates, and queens. I'm sure that somewhere Admiral Lord Nelson is spinning in his grave at my daughter's confident assertion that he's a pirate. Oh, and we sang one of the songs from the Backyardigans tea party episode together when we saw a picture of one of Josephine's tea sets.
Could it be we have a history buff in the making here...?