Meet Daliyah Marie Arana, the four year old who’s already read 1,000 books

Daliyah Marie Arana is all about her books. The four-year-old has already read 1,000 books. By the time she was two she’d read her first full book. Daliyah’s mother Haleema Arana uploaded a video of the wonderkid reading her first book, which shows the cutie pie reading the words as her mother pointed to them with a pen.

Mrs. Arana started reading to Daliyah in the womb. When she was born she’d hear her parents reading to her two older siblings and eventually heard her siblings reading their own books out loud. By the time she was 18 months she was recognizing words in the book her mother read to her. “She wanted to take over and do the reading on her own,” her mother, Haleema Arana, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “It kind of took off from there. The more words she learned, the more she wanted to read.”

Daliyah is a regular at her local Gainesville, GA library. Recently she completed the Georgia 1,000 Books B4 Kindergarten Program, which challenges kids to read 1,000 books before their first day of kindergarten. Her story caught the attention of Carla Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress. Daliyah visited the biggest library in the world to shadow Hayden as “librarian for the day.” She has dreams of one day being a librarian and wants to help children learn to read at a young age.

From the Washington Post:

As she toured the children’s section of the library Wednesday, Daliyah read books to Hayden and met other members of the library staff. When they asked the 4-year-old librarian for recommendations, an idea immediately came to her mind. She suggested they install whiteboards in the library hallways, so that children like her can practice writing on them.

“They said they would try to make that happen,” her mother said.

“I like to check out books every day,” Daliyah said. “And I want to teach other kids to read at an early age, too,” Daliyah told the Gainesville Times. Following her visit her mother says, “She just kept saying how the Library of Congress is her most favorite, favorite, favorite library in the whole wide world.”

While Daliyah’s actual reading level has never been tested, she is capable of reading her 10 and 12-year-old siblings’ books. There’s also a YouTube video of her reading the college-level text “The Pleasure of Books” by William L Phelps pronouncing words such as “punctiliousness” and phrases like “annihilates formality.”

Her favorite author is Mo Willems (Pigeon and Elephant, Piggie) and she has a particular interest in dinosaurs.