It's rare these days for children to have all their relatives close to home. For some kids, it might be mom or dad who are far away, while for others, grandparents might be seen only once or twice a year.
Here's a great idea to keep family connected through reading. Ask your extended family to read to your child. It can be as simple as a phone call and a silly poem. What about asking the tech savvy grandma to videochat with your child while she reads to him? Or setting up a whole family Google Hangout so everyone can take a turn reading a few pages?
There's a program for men in prison to read a book to their children on video. The book is then sent to the child to read along with dad. Why not adapt this to your long distance family? You could try to use the library to get copies of the same book and read together, or just listen to audiobooks while Skyping.
I'm sure you can think of many ways to engage your extended family in reading. Making reading a family affair demonstrates how important reading is. Sometimes it's hard for family members who don't see your child often to make a connection, but books can be an easy way to overcome that barrier!