At each well child visit, I discuss reading to children with each family. Reading is a great way to encourage language development and is a great way to bond. But reading with our littlest toddlers, 18 months to 3 years old, can be quite challenging.
Toddlers are notoriously full of energy and have a difficult time sitting still while being read a traditional story book. Word books, like Curious George's Big Book of Curiosity, can be very useful at this age. On the inside of the book, instead of a storyline, what you'll find are themed pages.
The way to read these books with your toddler is simply by saying, "point to the rocket!" and letting your baby point to the rocket. This way, the activity is interactive and fun. As your child ages and becomes more verbal, you can switch the game; you can say, "what is this?" to which your child replies "rocket!" This gives them encouragement when they say the word correctly and the opportunity to have gentle correction when they're wrong.
Keep reading with your toddler, and they will be engaged. It'll be fun for both of you and a great experience.