We have unraveled the principles of Kate's pronunciation. To start with, G's and K's turn into D's and T's. That part was easy enough to figure out. But also, for words that start with an S followed by another consonant, she puts the S at the end. That one took quite a bit longer to decipher. She does it very consistently, though, so we eventually caught on. Hence, snap, snail, and star become naps, nails, and dars, respectively. Squirrel is dirls, and squish is diss. She and Doug play a squishing game on the bed. It's just too cute to hear her yelling "Diss! Diss!" and shrieking with laughter.
Kate has known the word "turtle" for some time, but recently added "tortoise." One of her books has a tortoise in it. I told her that a tortoise is like a turtle. Now whenever we read that book she points to it and says, "Tortoise! Tortoise like a turtle." One of our neighbors even has a little tortoise in a terrarium, so Kate got to see a real tortoise. That was pretty exciting. She has also learned that a toad is like a frog. Another neighbor has a bird bath with a little stone toad on it, and Kate will go over and pat the toad and say "Toad like a frog!" When watching the Veggie Tales song about Barbara Manatee (from the library) I told her that a manatee is like a whale, which she accepted easily enough, but then Doug suggested that perhaps a manatee is more like a seal or a walrus, so we'll have to see if we can correct that.
Kate has been finding animals in her food. The other day she held up a bit of cheese from the pizza we were eating, and informed us that it was a seahorse. Tonight her bits of naan bread contained a hippo, a whale, a wolf, and a horse. This seems like pretty advanced abstraction for a two-and-a-half year old, but Doug told me that she had some bug-shaped graham crackers in the nursery at church that made quite an impression on her, so maybe that's where she got the idea.