A month or two ago I came across a website which had downloadable signs to put up around the house (URL to follow), to help babies / children to learn to read. I'd planned to do this for Iona, but not got around to it, so I printed them out and put them up. Unfortunately, several got torn down fairly quickly, but in the last week or so she's been pointing at some and asking "Tha?", so I've been telling her. She's also pointing similarly to page numbers and things like the "DK" logo on books. As she seems really interested, I decided that she's now ready to begin to learn to read, especially as her talking is coming on in leaps and bounds. This may seem ridiculously early, but my Mum taught me when I was 4, using Glen Doman's "Teach Your Baby to Read Kit", which I've inherited. According to this, and the site Brill Baby / Brill Kids (http://www.brillbaby.com/teach-baby/reading.php), now is quite a reasonable age to begin showing her flashcards, without any pressure.
Consequently, I got the kit out of the spare room, and found the large, red "mummy" flashcard, which is the one you're supposed to begin with. I showed it to Iona a few times yesterday and the day before and told her what it said. She was very interested, and pointed to individual letters, asking about them. Although I don't want to use phonics, as English isn't very phonetic, I felt I should answer her questions and tell her the letter sounds that she was asking about, while trying to maintain emphasis on the word as a whole. I also broke the kit's rules and showed her "head", as she's been extremely keen on that word for the last 2 or 3 days, and "daddy", which is one of her favourite words. We'll have to see whether that confuses her.
Today I got the "mummy" flashcard out and before I even had a chance to ask what it said she said "mmm"! Mind you, she did the same with the "daddy" and "head" cards.