Charlie has been telling people that he's "reading" The Invention of Hugo Cabret for months. It's the biggest book on Tommy's bookshelf, and Tommy has never actually read all of it. It's a 500 page book. It's not quite as massive as it looks, because more than half of it is full-page illustrations. I think it took me less than two hours to read it myself, but I'm an adult and a fast reader. It has been the Golden Apple of Charlie's reading aspirations for a long time.
I've been telling him that being able to read the words on the page is not the same thing as being ready to read a big book like that. He's been telling me that he IS ready. I've been telling him that paging through it for hours isn't the same thing as actually reading it from cover-to-cover. He's been telling me that he's studying the pictures to prepare for reading it. I've been scoffing silently in my head and handing him shorter books. He's been ignoring the shorter books and carrying Hugo around instead.
I'm sure you can tell where this is going. He proved me wrong. Of course he did. It's what he does.
He started reading page one out loud to David one week ago. He kept reading, and reading, and reading. He finished it yesterday, and I'm pretty sure he understood it most of it. Now he wants to know all about the history of film, Georges Melies, clock work automatons and Paris in the 1930s. I don't know why I'm surprised.