I have said this elsewhere on this blog: parents are the main role models and teachers when it comes to developing a love of reading with their children. The American Library Association has an Every Child Ready to Read program that highlights 6 main areas that children should master to enjoy reading/to read well.
One important building block of reading is PRINT AWARENESS. In other words, knowing the mechanics of reading. Left to right, top to bottom, front to back.
Tip #1 When going grocery shopping with your preschooler, share your shopping store ad! A sample conversation: "First, we are getting the tuna (or whatever you are getting). It's on page one (or at the top of the list). Can you find the picture of the can of tuna? After that, we can look for the (food name). Can you point to it? It's below the tuna." And so on.
A Book to teach Print Awareness
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel, published by Neal Porter in 2005. Bad Kitty is an excellent book to teach toddlers and preschoolers the basic mechanics of reading. Bad Kitty is filled with funny lists, which sometimes split the pages into quarters. Point to each page section as you read the lists (and if possible, to each word). By doing this, you model the process of reading from left to right, and from top to bottom. Bad Kitty is quite creative, and a fun way for leading to reading.