Think of your favorite picture books. (This may be hard for you secondary-level teachers and parents, but try it anyway.)
Got them in your head?
What was it about those books that you liked?
Was it the illustrations? The particular medium the artist used--watercolor, collage, sharp lines and bright colors, or muted shapes and pastels?
Maybe it was a beloved character. A cat in a striped hat, pigeons that drive, spiders that weave stories, voracious bugs, bears in clothes, elephants that rule kingdoms, girls who attend a private school in Paris.
Or maybe it was just the cadence of a rhyme, the repetition of words that made you feel like a reader before you could recite all twenty-six letters of the alphabet, in order.
Now remember what you felt like when you read the book, and had the book read to you. What words come to mind? I can think of a few: home, security, delight, warmth, joy, fun, togetherness, love, safety.
Any wonder why storytime is one of my favorite tasks in the library?