Children to whom books are read aloud from a young age are more likely to become readers for life than are children whose parents do not read to them or who have no books in their homes. Reading with a child provides the opportunity for an intimate, shared experience and is a relief from active games, cross tempers, or boredom.
How does an adult know what makes a good book for children? For young children, ages 2 to 5, the visual quality is very important. The illustrations should be bright, colorful, and clear (not abstract). Of special importance in books to read aloud, pictures should be closely related to the text so that they really help tell the story and do not merely decorate. Vocabulary ought to be simple and clear, yet rich enough not to be dull. Texts in some of the best picture books read like poetic prose;