Favilla / by Susie Lubell

For the last year my son has been kind of learning how to read. Meaning he won't ever read a word when you ask him. And after a particularly annoying session reading Hop on Pop I decided to stop asking him. In school they taught his some "site" words. So he can read yes and no and his name and my name and a handful of other very important things. Although he claims to not be able to read the sign on my door that says GO AWAY. Just kidding. About the sign. No sign.

For several months he wanted to spell everything. And at first we had to do each letter at a time but soon he could spell whole words after me. And then he'd ask how to spell sentences. Mommy how do you spell, can we go to Starbucks and get a morning bun?

But until now he has not really been interested in reading. In fact his latest interest is in words that rhyme.

Him: Mommy, what rhymes with purple?
Me: Nothing.
Him: It has to have a rhyme.
Me: Murple.
Him: Is murple a word?
Me: No.
Him: So what's the rhyme?
Me: Nothing.
Him: It has to have a rhyme.
Me: Gurple.
Him: Is gurple a word...?

And then this morning, out of the clear blue, while I was sending an email and he was playing with my dad's old ukulele I overheard this:

Ef A Fa
Vee Eye Vi
Fa Vi
El A La
Favilla

And so it goes the first word he ever read was the brand of my dad's old ukulele. Favilla. Owned and operated in New York by the Favilla Family (pictured above) from 1890 to 1986.