The purpose of this study was to explore the relation between joint picture-book-reading experiences provided in the home and children's early oral language skills. Subjects were 41 two-year-old children and their mothers. Measures included maternal report of the age at which she began to read to the child, the frequency of home reading sessions, the number of stories read per week, and the frequency of visits by the child to the local library. Measures of language skill used were the child's receptive and expressive scores on the revised Reynell Developmental Language Scales. Multiple regression analyses indicated that picture-book reading exposure was more strongly related to receptive than to expressive language. Age of onset of home reading routines was the most important predictor of oral language skills. Directions of effect, the importance of parental beliefs as determinants of home reading practices, and the possible existence of a threshold level for reading frequency are discussed.