I go for perky and interested when I read the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (the pop! is key to this narrator's voice I think - who doesn't love a good sound effect?)
I adopt a tone of total innocence when I read the hilarious Bottomley books by Peter Harris and Doffy Weir. These books are told from first person (or should I say cat) point of view with the text contradicting the pictures. Here's a page from Bottomley Cattery.
And I have a different voice for each animal in the Gruffalo, some scary, some scared, some soft, some loud, some hissy. Reading the Gruffalo aloud is a bit like acting.
a page from The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
I have voices for all the characters I write in my own picturebooks and tones of voices in my head for the characters in the texts I'm writing. A few of my books have audio versions. It's strange, but wonderfully magical, to hear an actor voice them.
Knight Time read by Jane Whittenshaw, Gilbert the Great and Gilbert in Deep read by Dervla Kirwan, Stuck in the Mud ready by Cassandra Morris
Even for non actors like me, using different voices and making different sound effects when you're reading a picture book aloud helps the reader and the child listener enter the magical world of make believe.
It's fun to experiment using different voices when you read a picture book aloud, and it's fun to try out different voices when you're writing a picture book text. Narrator, first person, second person or third – every voice can be different and distinct.
What voices stand out for you?
Jane's proud and excited to announce that her new picture book, Who Woke the Baby is published this month.
It's crammed full of yummy illustrations by Charles Fuge and there are plenty of animal noises to make when you read it out loud.