The authors assessed the relative benefits of 3 styles of adult book reading for preschoolers' emergent literacy. A describer style focused on describing pictures during the reading, a comprehender style focused on story meaning, and a performance-oriented style introduced the book and discussed story meaning on completion. Forty-eight 4-year-olds were randomly assigned to receive 1 of the 3 reading styles over a 6-week period. Pretests and posttests measured children's receptive vocabulary, print, and story comprehension skills. A describer style of reading resulted in the greatest overall benefits for children's vocabulary and print skills, but a performance-oriented style was also beneficial when children's initial skill levels were taken into account. Future book-reading interventions should be tailored to children's initial skill levels.