“A is for Amy” – Often, the first letter a child learns is the first letter of her name ("Mummy! There's my A!"). When she later recognises her entire name, she's not so much reading it as she is identifying that those symbols mean her name. Symbol recognition, of course, is essential for reading. But before she can learn the sounds of the letters, she has to make the mental leap to understanding that those squiggles and lines stand for ideas.