I've just started getting my eight year old to read aloud to me in the evening to practice his speech. Every night we pick a different picture book, because they're short and lively. When he reads it, he has to make sure to "say all his sounds"... and to make it entertaining.
I had forgotten how much fun some of these books are to read out loud. Tonight's was The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems, where the pictures and text are so good at demonstrating emotion... after my son had finished his dramatic enactment, his six year old sister (still a new reader) wanted a turn. Then he re-did it so he could improve on his first go-round so of course she wanted an encore too. For the final curtain call, they insisted I read it with all the gestures they had come up with in their performances.
While I know the kids still revisit the picture book shelf, particularly my daughter who is fervently practising her reading at every opportunity, it had been a long time since I had picked anything up from it, and it must be close to a year since I read one. Tonight reinforced my decision to keep that shelf, no matter how old the kids get, and that's the recommendation I'd pass on to every other parent. There are so many picture books that are very cleverly written with a view towards reading aloud. Once upon a time, we got a huge kick out of reading them to the kids. Reading them to each other looks like it will be even more fun.
The Pigeon series by Mo Willem.
The Book with no Pictures by BJ Novak
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (this is a great two-person read)
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
Penguin Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith