Illustrated storybooks provide an ideal resource for helping children learn. This is because children love listening to stories. Storybooks present texts in familiar and memorable contexts and high quality illustrations help children understand as they match what they hear to what they see. In this way, children develop their visual literacy and appreciation of art. They also discover different styles of illustration and learn about the culture of the illustrator.
Storybook theatres can provide a wide variety of activities to develop children’s language skills and bring other areas of the curriculum to life, through the theme or content of the book. They are also very motivating as they exercise children’s imaginations and appeal to different interests and learning styles.
Storytelling is a shared social experience and provokes a response of laughter, sadness, empathy, excitement and anticipation, all of which encourage social and emotional development. Another important benefit is that storybooks encourage children to enjoy language learning and foster their appreciation of literature (Taken from: Wikipedia).
Many publishers offer free electronic versions of their picture books.