The big happy news chez moi is that Phoebe, my older daughter, and her husband are expecting a second reader in late August. That will make three little readers in three years for me. How lucky can one grandmother get?

Pia and Ira continue to be enthusiastic consumers of books. Ira is partial to interactive books and oversized books, which offer him lots of reasons to point to things (he’s a major pointer right now) and to turn the pages with his feet. I would describe him as a nonfiction aficionado, where the facts of the situation are more appealing to him than the plot: many dinosaurs, many animals, etc. Because of that, he likes the final page of books, when the whole cast of characters often takes a bow, and endpapers of books if they do the same thing. Two of his current faves are the oversized The Colorful World of Dinosaurs by Matt Sewell and Never Touch the Dinosaurs by Rosie Greening, illustrated by Stuart Lynch, which has fun and bumpy dinosaurs that are perfect for pointing to. Two other picture books he responds well to are the zany and appealing I Need a Hug by Aaron Blabey, and Fred Gets Dressed by Peter Brown, where the protagonist spends a certain amount of time “naked and wild and free.”

I would describe Pia’s reading habits as more “plot-driven,” as is appropriate for her advanced age (closing in on two and a half). Her love of the classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle encouraged me to purchase the three sequels: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?; Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?; and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? These books continue the same tradition of rhythmic easy language but add endlessly amusing animals like flying squirrels, mule deer, screech owls, and macaroni penguins. Pia’s other favorites include the trio of board books featuring the intrepid hamster Stanley from William Bee’s series: Stanley’s Numbers, Stanley’s Shapes, and Stanley’s Colors. Stanley’s sidekick, a small aardvark named Little Woo, mysteriously appears in some but not all of the spreads. Figuring out Little Woo’s whereabouts is a big deal for us. Pia’s favorite spread by far is the one in Stanley’s Colors where Stanley and Little Woo float up in their pink balloon. I have been known to float that page of the book up above our heads, just to encourage her inevitable giggles. She also really enjoys the hefty new board book Caution! Road Signs Ahead by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Chi Birmingham. Reading it has led to the fun of spotting signs on the road that she recognizes from this book.

Another activity that Pia has embarked on in the past few months is reading illustrated adult books (cookbooks, travel books, etc.). She turns every single page and considers them quite seriously. It can go on for quite a while, to the delight of adult onlookers.

For both Pia and Ira, being gathered up and read to is a surefire way to calm them down if they’re upset about anything. It’s the one-on-one attention, to be sure, but I like to think that it’s also the positive and happy associations with books and reading overall. The wonderful teachers at their respective daycares have observed this as well and read to each of them when they’re having a hard time.

To quote Pamela Paul in one of my favorite grown-up books, How to Raise a Reader: “We all love remembering the satisfaction, the joy, the almost giddy exhilaration of seeing the world of letters, and as a consequence the entire world, open up to us.” I hope that I am doing my part to introduce my grandchildren to the world of letters by sharing books with them.

To see previous Olympia and Ira columns, click here.

Betsy Groban worked for decades in book publishing, public broadcasting, and arts advocacy, and is currently a correspondent for the Boston Globe.