Born to Read
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Born to Read

4.6 3
by Judy Sierra, Marc Brown

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THE AWARD-WINNING COLLABORATORS of the New York Times #1 picture book bestseller Wild About Books are back with a new story that promotes books and reading. Told in Judy Sierra’s inimitable read-aloud rhyme, the narrative chronicles the amazing successes of Sam—thanks to his early love of books. The story ranges from Sam’s infancy,


THE AWARD-WINNING COLLABORATORS of the New York Times #1 picture book bestseller Wild About Books are back with a new story that promotes books and reading. Told in Judy Sierra’s inimitable read-aloud rhyme, the narrative chronicles the amazing successes of Sam—thanks to his early love of books. The story ranges from Sam’s infancy, when his mother reads him a picture book (“then another, then another, then another . . . such a perfect, patient mother”), to school age, when he cleverly uses some of his favorite books to rid his town of the rampaging baby giant, Grundaloon. “‘Here’s my secret,’ Sam decreed. ‘Readers win and winners read.’” Marc Brown’s playful pictures joyously complement this fun-to-read, upbeat story

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A precocious tot with a carrot-orange cowlick turns into a reading superstar in this whimsical tale with a hammer-it-home message about reading. Young audiences should enjoy the silliness factor that increases with each turn of the page. After toddlerhood, Sam reads books about "good nutrition, grand ambition,/ playing fair,/ and bike repair" and goes on to win an adult cycling race. He later vanquishes the baby giant Grundaloon (a reference to Beowulf's Grendel?) by calming him down with a few stories and a bite to eat. "And while the giant ate his snack up,/ Sam discreetly called for backup." Conventionally rhymed couplets-used in Sierra and Brown's previous collaboration, Wild AboutBooks-return here; the rich vocabulary gives the story a jaunty tempo, as do the appealing full-color gouache cartoon illustrations, filled with bouncy polka-dot motifs. Brown's fans will recognize his signature round, wide-eyed faces in this story's human cast. Numerous childhood favorites make appearances, e.g., Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Pat the Bunny, even an Arthur book. Not leaving the moral up to supposition, Sierra spells it out more than once: "Readers win and/ winners read" and "Yes, readers can/ go anyplace!" Ages 4-8. (Aug.)

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School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

In quick, quirky rhymed couplets, Sierra relates the story of Sam, who starts reading as soon as his eyes open and never, ever stops-even when he plays basketball. There's a book (or three) out there for all of his various interests, and those he chooses help him with everything from winning bike races to saving the town from a marauding baby giant. To befriend the latter, he pulls out an assortment of classics (including The Cat in the Hat and an Arthur title), some cake, and a cup of tea, all of which work like magic. "And while the giant ate his snack up,/Sam discreetly called for backup." Help arrives in the form of a big brown UPS cargo jet. As an adult, Sam makes the cover of Time when he's awarded a Pulitzer. Sierra's wry acknowledgment of recognizable brands and their value works out okay for grownups-sure, it's obvious product placement and cross promotion. For kids, the familiar bindings depicted in miniature promise a happy "Hey, I know that book!" Brown's gouache illustrations are cheery, and each page pours into the next through the use of subtly repeated background motifs. Polka dots on wallpaper in Sam's nursery evolve into dapples and spots across a wide swath of lawn, reappear as large potato-print circles in a doctor's office, and then shrink into a dizzying spray of blue and purple spots in Sam's dazzled imagination. This is an easy, obvious choice for events with literacy and early learning as their themes.-Catherine Threadgill, formerly at Charleston County Public Library, SC

Kirkus Reviews
In the department of preaching to the choir, from the duo who first celebrated reading in the Seussian Wild About Books (2004). From his first moments, Sam knows he is born to read. This story traces his love of books from his mother's readalouds to his own constant reading on a multitude of subjects and his sometimes surprising and practical use of reading in the outside world. Once he is fluent, Sam diagnoses himself and avoids an operation, wins a cycling race (although he stops for a poem or two) because "Readers win and / winners read," and conquers a hungry and familiar giant, all through his use of books. Literary references (Pat the Bunny, "Jack and the Beanstalk" and the Arthur series) abound in both Brown's illustrations and text, adding to the fun. While the rhymes are sometimes a bit rough and the story a bit over the top, this will appeal to both children and parents as they embark together on the path to reading. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.60(d)
AD670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Judy Sierra’s Wild About Books won the E. B. White Read-Aloud Award. She is also the author of Mind Your Manners, B. B.Wolf, Thelonius Monster’s Sky-High Fly Pie, and Beastly Rhymes to Read After Dark. She lives in Oakland, California.

Marc Brown’s illustrations for Wild About Books won him many accolades and honors. His popular books and television show about Arthur the aardvark have brought him fame throughout the world. He lives in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

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Born to Read 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
melbamom More than 1 year ago
We picked this up at the library a few months back and my three year old daughter just LOVED it. She quickly learned all of the words (the first time she had done this) so we just HAD to get a copy of our own. This book is so sweet. It has a nice variety of vocabulary words and a fun varying story line. The illustrations are eye catching and beautiful. Sam truly is "Born To Read" and illustrates this fact as he uses books to learn new things and solve problems, from diagnosing a mysterious "illness" to winning a bike race. This little boy truly does read everywhere, and as he faces a baby giant, Sam bravely uses a variety of familiar and best loved children's books to distract the baby giant and get him home to his mommy. The story ends reminding children that Sam (as well as they) can grow up to be just about anything because "Readers can go anyplace"
The_Queen_of_all_PARPdom More than 1 year ago
I read this book to the children at my son's elementary school (K-3) during our Parents as Reading Partners program. It has a wonderful message and the kids loved seeing the illustrations of books they were already familiar with. It's very sweet and it will be one of our favorites that we'll keep forever.
Nom_de_PlumeSB More than 1 year ago
This book is a little lengthy (40 pages) for a beginner reader and a lot of the words are complex. However, the message that readers can do anything is an overall positive lesson for children from kindergarten to third grade. Colorful illustrations make this a fun book.