I grew up being read to by the adults in our circle of family and friends. Once I was able to read, it was my job (joy) to read for those younger than myself. I can still remember reading to my small nieces and pointing out simple, repetitive words, like "the", so they could begin to pick out words on their own.
Every year, it seems fewer and fewer of the short folk who enter L's and my realm know any nursery rhymes or "concepts of print". And every year I read more and more studies and statistics about how important early literacy is. I have to assume that fewer and fewer children grow up being read to, but I don't understand it. It's such a special time to spend with a child. Reading together can be calming amidst a day full of deadlines. Which is why I chose to continue to read to my girls at bedtime, even after they out grew my lap.
On that depressing note, here are a couple links to some good books for the younger folk--Christmas, fiction and non-fiction included:
Brian Floca books
Never Take a Shark to the Dentist
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Ben Hillman books
Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree
The Secret of Santa's Island
Early Literacy benefits