A sociocultural perspective of reading frames this chapter. This perspective is used to examine reading contexts and practices involved in children's reading in their preschool and early school years. I discuss the importance of children's literature to children's engagement as readers, and the relevance of popular culture to young readers. Current debates, such as the role of systematic phonics instruction and the appropriateness of critical literacy in early childhood programs, are considered. Implications of a sociocultural perspective of reading for early childhood teachers are carefully explored in terms of prior-to-school and early school settings.