Re: S/O When did you start reading "real" books to your kids?
Picture books do have value, board books have more value as something children can enjoy on their own. However that being said my oldest did not like picture books as a toddler. He has always been a sensory child and the combination of picture and story was irritating to him. He could either have a board book (which he was just going to play with) or I could read him novels. From infancy I chose to read him novels. Every day at nap time I read him novels. I think it sprung form the fact that he had reflux and often slept upright on my body and I would read as he slept. It just evolved to me reading to him instead of "over him". The Harry Potter series was one of the first things I read to him but we read many other books in those early days. Everything ranging from Call of the Wild and Where the Red Fern Grows (books I loved as a child) to The Dalmark Quartet and The Never Ending Story. It was when Tharen hit the toddler stage that we made the switch to picture books. He wouldn't sit still through novels, not even part of a chapter. By then Kearnan could tolerate them and actually enjoyed the stories and pictures. There are some splendid picture books out there with wonderful stories and art work. Picture books are not the same thing as board books or baby books. They should use proper grammar and many if not most introduce some advanced vocabulary. The art can range from childish to quite beautiful (I have a problem buying anything with pretty artwork) and the stories help children work through the problems they face in their life from normal fears (like the monster under the bed or the first day of school) to learning to interact with other people and animals. The shorter length helps keep a child's interest and bring the lesson home. These days we read both novels and picture books. Every night at bedtime we work through a novel (back to the Harry Potter books, Tharen's first time and finally finishing the last books of the series that weren't out the first few times Kearnan and I read them) and during the day we enjoy our favorite picture books. Tharen also works on early readers and decodable books while Kearnan is reading simple novels on his own.