The Reader

( 1 )

Overview

In this timeless picture book, a new reader trudges through deep snow with a mysterious suitcase in tow. He has something important to share with his faithful companion, who bolts ahead to wait at the top of a tall hill. Our small hero climbs higher and higher, until finally, he is there, too. Then he opens his suitcase ? click, click ? and soon the only sound in the world is the sound of him reading their very favorite book to the very last page?the very last word. Amy Hest?s spare evocative text is a true ...

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Overview

In this timeless picture book, a new reader trudges through deep snow with a mysterious suitcase in tow. He has something important to share with his faithful companion, who bolts ahead to wait at the top of a tall hill. Our small hero climbs higher and higher, until finally, he is there, too. Then he opens his suitcase – click, click – and soon the only sound in the world is the sound of him reading their very favorite book to the very last page…the very last word. Amy Hest’s spare evocative text is a true celebration of new readers and good friends everywhere, while Lauren Castillo’s pen and ink and watercolor illustrations, with their bold saturated colors against winter white, perfectly capture the wonder and delight of this magical day.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As snow falls gently, Castillo’s (Happy Like Soccer) woodcutlike ink-and-watercolor spreads show a boy in red boots and scarf pulling a sled, accompanied by his dog. Hest (Letters to Leo) doesn’t name the boy; he’s “the reader” of the title. He takes the dog to the top of a hill, unpacks a winter picnic, and opens a book: “The dog waits. It is hard, but he is good at waiting. And then at last the reader reads.” Castillo’s cheerful, red-cheeked boy and his tail-wagging companion will engage younger viewers, while Hest’s spare, lyrical writing seems directed toward an older group (the sled’s “train tracks are impeccably straight. They are beautiful”). Although the read-aloud episode is at the heart of the book, there’s also satisfaction to be had from the boy’s experiments with parenting as he takes his dog on an outing, reads to him like a child, and “wraps the dog in his two strong arms.” A reassuring bedtime entry for a chilly night. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
Reading anytime, anywhere is touted in this story about a boy, his dog and a snowy day. Never named in the text, the titular reader packs up a suitcase for a day of sledding and reading with his dog. Reaching the hilltop, they frolic about, making snow "angels … snowballs … more angels … and a snow dog for the dog." Then, it's time for "warm drinks and crunchy toast for two." Well-fed and satisfied with their play, instead of heading home to read indoors, the reader takes out a book called Two Good Friends and reads aloud to his dog, delightedly saying, "Just like us!" at book's end. After repacking the suitcase, they then sled downhill and return home. Although the premise might seem a bit odd--the snowy scene could spell book damage, after all--one might regard it as the wintertime equivalent of a beach read. The evocation of imaginative play on a snowy day is reminiscent of Uri Shulevitz's Snow (1998) and, of course, The Snowy Day. Castillo's soft, inked lines and luscious watercolors echo the text's gentle tone. Subtle incorporation of white painted letters falling like snow around the pair during the read-aloud scene adds a lovely touch to a spread begging to be made into a poster touting the joys of reading. A charming (if rather implausible) celebration of a snowy, book-y, day. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761461845
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 190,569
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Hest is the author of many award-winning books for children, including the New York Times bestseller, Kiss Good Night. She lives in New York, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 17, 2014

    The illustrations on the cover drew me in right away.  I loved t

    The illustrations on the cover drew me in right away.  I loved the woodcut like ink-and-watercolour pictures with a vintage feel that is so endearing to my taste.  Any story with a cute little boy and his friendly dog has already won my heart before I even read the book.




    This adventurous twosome strike out on a very snowy day pulling a red sled.  The little boy has a satchel slung over his shoulder and a curious suitcase in his hand.  Together they climb up a huge snowy hill, play a bit in the snow, making snow "angels, snowballs, more angels...and a snow dog for the dog." They picnic on "warm drinks and crunchy toast for two" and then the boy opens up the suitcase.  He reveals a book....probably his favourite book in the whole wide world, ( he can see that world atop his hill perch) and he begins to read to his beloved companion who wags his tail in  ecstatic agreement that this is indeed a splendid thing to do.  The book is entitled, "Two Good Friends" and at the end of the read aloud the boy hugs his dog in his arms and exclaims, "Just like us!"  The clever little boy packs up and both he and his canine best friend mount the sled and off they sail down the hill and home.  This book depicts a true celebration of reading - anytime, anywhere!!!  Longues livers vivants!

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