Dialogic reading (DR; Whitehurst et al., 1988) is an evidence‐based intervention that promotes children's active participation in shared reading (Towson, 2016; Urbani, 2020; WWC, 2007, 2010). Since the development of DR, there has been a proliferation of studies evaluating the conditions and populations with which it is effective. However, to date, there has not been a systematic review of the literature focusing specifically on the impact of DR on the literacy and non‐literacy skills of children under 10 years old. As DR research evolves, it is important that a review of the existing literature is undertaken to capture these advances and guide future research. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses protocol, the aim of this review is to systematically explore, synthesise and critically evaluate the extant literature. A systematic search of electronic databases identified 46 relevant studies, and the overall methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the MMAT. Findings are organised according to sample and population, country of origin and setting, programme duration, language and literacy outcomes, social‐emotional and other cognitive outcomes, impact and effect sizes to provide overview and insight into where and with whom DR is most effective. The review findings suggest DR can positively impact a wide range of language and literacy skills for children under 5 years. There is some evidence that DR can have positive effects on enjoyment of reading, reading motivation, parental–child attachment, parental confidence and stress. However, the extant research is subject to limitations, and more methodologically robust research is needed to enable thorough assessment of the conditions in which DR is most effective. What is already known about this topic Shared reading can have a positive impact on a wide range of language skills for young children. DR is an easy‐to‐administer interactive shared book reading intervention for parents and educators. DR can have positive effects on the language and literacy development of young children. What this paper adds Previous literature reviews have been somewhat limited in scope, utilising a limited number of search engines, comprising a small number of studies and focusing solely on language outcomes. This is the first comprehensive systematic review, focusing on the impact of DR on language and literacy outcomes, social‐emotional and other cognitive outcomes for children under 10 years. Provides a summary of the extant research on DR (based on the Whitehurst et al., 1988 model). Provides a quality appraisal of the extant DR literature. Implications for theory, policy or practice DR can have positive effects on the language, literacy and social‐emotional development of young children (<5 years) More methodologically robust research is needed to identify the practical and/or theoretical importance of the DR intervention (e.g. calculation of reporting of effect size) and the effects of DR on complex language skills. DR could be considered a useful intervention for increasing parental engagement in shared book reading. It may be the case that DR's more structured approach places fewer demands on parents who are less confident reading with their child and therefore provides a useful starting point for encouraging parental engagement in joint storybook reading interactions. The increased exposure to books in the home, in turn, facilitates language development for the child.