It is equally important to teach and entertain in Children's Literature.
At a very early age, parents should read to a child. This will instill an interest in reading as they grow older. Most of these books have big, colorful pictures, simple words and simple lessons. (See the big red ball?)
As children grow older, parents should start swapping off reading to their children. I'll read one paragraph, they read the next. This will help the child with pronunciation and keep him/her on track with the story.
There will come a day when the child excitedly wants to read to mom / dad to show his / her abilities. That's when you let them read the story to you, and then ask questions about the story to instill the ability to remember what the story is about, not just how to say the words. ("Now what was the dog's name?")
Good reading skills are passed on from one generation to the next, and it's never too early to start. A good reader is someone who can learn anything!