My son has decided that it's time to learn his letters, numbers, and how to make words. (As I sit here typing, my son keeps bringing me things with letters and telling me their names, asking for sounds.
: )I don't think there's any such thing as being too young or too old, and I think it does children a grave disservice to imply that there is. When the kid is ready they are ready, end of story.
Both of my nieces learned their letters and numbers around 2 years old, that was what they wanted to do so they did it. I learned mine at age 2 in four days because I had wanted to do it earlier but did not have the opportunity (long story). Six months after that I was reading on a second grade level; my older niece is 6 years old and is only now comfortable reading on a first grade level. She's taken her own time about it, and it's all good. My younger niece has no interest in either putting letters together to make words or taking words apart to see letters (unless they're very large print :LOL). She's three years old, and no one is pushing her. She'll do what she wants when she's ready.
Eli is 15 months old, and many have said "that's too young to be teaching a child his alphabet". Well, Eli seems to think otherwise.
Oh, and about being read to: I hated to be read to as a child. I remember being three years old and someone trying to read to me. I took the book out of their hands and said "Thanks, but I'll read it myself." I always found it irritating that a)their voices never matched the way I heard character's voices in my head and b)they read so unbearably slowly. Only recently have I been able to tolerate listening to any "reading aloud". I've been listening to recorded books on long car trips, and I really enjoy that. Time to go, Eli is crying for the alphabet again and I'm going to be a naughty parent and indulge him.