The mission of Books for Texas Babies is to improve the preliteracy skills of Texas children by promoting reading and talking to infants and toddlers from birth. Being read to increases vocabulary and the understanding of basic language structure. Adequate preliteracy skills are necessary for a child to become successful at reading later in school. To promote reading to babies from birth, Books for Texas Babies provides one bilingual picture book to every baby born in participating hospitals while mother and baby are still on the maternity ward. Before discharge, a nurse or child life specialist meets with each new mother to present the book, discuss the importance of reading to babies and young children, and provide information on how public libraries can help.