Oh, magic hour when a child first knows it can read printed words!
For quite a while, Francie had been spelling out letters, sounding them and then putting the sounds together to mean a word. But one day, she looked at a page and the word 'mouse' had an instantaneous meaning. She looked at the word and the picture of the gray mouse scampered through her mind. She looked further and when she saw 'horse' she heard him pawing the ground and saw the sun glint on his glossy coat. The word 'running' hit her suddenly and she breathed hard as though running herself. The barrier between the individual sound of each letter and the whole meaning of the word was removed and the printed word meant a thing at one quick glance. She read a few pages rapidly and almost became ill with excitement. She wanted to shout it out. She could read! She could read!
Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn