We have always read to our children. The fact that I can recite One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish in my sleep to this day is proof of that. But investing a bit of yourself into the reading out loud adds so much more to the experience. When baby #4 came along, I found a book by the title "I'll Love You Forever" -- a wonderful book that takes you through all the stages of growing up and how Mother loves you through them all. The mother character sings a special lullaby each night, all through the years, and so as the words to the song are repeated throughout the story, I created my own little tune (inspired by a friend), making the story "come alive". Now my own daughter reads/sings it to her little ones.
I have a couple of friends who are very good at accents. I have some work to do before I can master the British accent, or the Brooklyn accent. I can add a touch of flair with a crisp, Northern US accent or a bit of Southern Drawl. My rendition of a Swede brings giggles from around the table, but that's ok. I don't take it personal.
The Narnia Series
The habit of reading aloud together opens up whole new worlds, and naturally pulls our children, even ourselves, into the wonderful world of make believe, without movie cameras and pre-printed scripts. It's amazing this tool God equipped us with - the brain.
You just might meet up with a young miss who's donned a pretty bonnet as she is crossing the prairie in a conestoga wagon: