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The Reader Hardcover – October 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761461841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761461845
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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 --Publishers Weekly (Oct. 2012)

From Booklist

“The reader” is a small boy, all bundled up for the cold conditions outside. He has a brown shaggy dog, a red sled, a small suitcase, and the snow-covered world at his fingertips. Hest’s quiet, lyrical prose matches the stillness of the landscape, as she describes the reader’s journey: “Up and up he climbs, tilting in the wind, pulling in the blowing storm.” The little dog, who has bounded ahead, waits patiently at the top of the hill for his boy to join him. Once there (“the hill is very, very tall. The top is far, far away”), boy and dog make snow angels and a “snow dog” and snack on toast. Finally, the reader clicks open the mysterious suitcase, which contains not just any book, but “the very best book,” titled Two Good Friends. Perfect. This sweet story is beautifully imagined by Castillo, as her boldly outlined, colorful characters pop against the brilliance of a total whiteout. Share this with other pint-size readers who understand the joy of reading, anytime, anyplace.— Ann Kelley, Booklist Aug 2012

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Customer Reviews

This picture book sings a timeless story of book love.
Kate West
There is a textural quality to this book that will enable young children to escape into the story.
gotta run now
Would that all children would find treasure in reading and owning books.
KWJ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Linda Stanek on October 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a perfect pairing of beautiful text and illustrations! Hest's spare, quiet text conveys the importance of the work at hand, and the inner strength of our tiny hero. Castillo's illustrations are her best ever, evoking the gray, quiet world of a snowy day, and the adventure, sharing and love of two good friends who venture into it with purpose and joy. Caldecott worthy!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By KWJ VINE VOICE on December 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love this book because it presents reading as one of the finest things in the world. Which it is. But more than that, to me it instills a pride not only in reading, but in book ownership. My 2 year old grandson LOVES books, and he can often be found sitting in his room at home "reading" through his favorites. Of course, he can't read, but don't tell HIM that. He's had his favorite books read to him so many times, that he must have the concept of the story for each one tucked away in his mind, and can somehow recall it while looking at the pictures.

Never underestimate the power of reading to your children from the day you first bring them home.

The story is an enchanting one of the main character who so treasures the book in their possession, that they can't wait to reveal it, and read it to their friend. Beautiful watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations really take you into the story, and set mood and place in a masterful manner.

This has now become one of his favorite books, and his mother told me she discovered him in his room "reading" it on his own. It's become his treasure.

Would that all children would find treasure in reading and owning books.

Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By April E. VINE VOICE on January 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Reader is a short, gentle story for young children. It encourages a love of reading, as it tells the story of a boy (the reader) and his dog journeying through the snow to a special spot, to share a special snack, and a special story. While it does seem odd to me that the boy would choose the top of a snowy hill in winter to have a snack and read to his dog, I chose to look beyond that plot to point out a deeper lesson with my 6 year old daughter.

The story states that the trip up the hill is hard work, but the boy is good at working hard. The story states that the climb is long and slow, but the dog is good at waiting. I pointed out to my daughter that learning to read is long, hard work ... but that if she just keeps working hard, she'll get there! And once she really masters reading, her reading skills will take off just as quickly as the boy's trip back down the hill on his sled.

The illustrations are beautiful, with an old-fashioned, simple feel to them. The text is non-rhyming, non-rhythmic, but has a poetic style to it. There are a few places that are a bit rough. On one particular page-turn I thought I'd missed a page because it just seemed to not flow from the previous page, but I hadn't. That was how the story was written.

I had hoped this book would help encourage my daughter in her journey to learn to read. I'm not sure if it's a book she'll ask for again and again, or not. Only time will tell.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Kenney on December 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has become one of my favorite picture books. Having participated in a reading program for dogs and children the moment of the child and the dog reading together is a memory my dog and I have been fortunate to share with many children. Thank you Amy Hest for putting these feelings into words. And thank you Lauren Castillo for capturing so exquisitely that same feeling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam Archer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is about a boy and his dog who travel to a nice spot in the snow to read their favorite book together.

The boy doesn't have a name and is called "the reader" throughout the story.

The illustrations are beautiful. The story was just okay for my kids.

Calling the kid "the reader" doesn't help kids relate to the boy and it probably wasn't necessary for the story but rather made for a catchy title of the book.

The book had potential but never quite reached it.

Overall, I'd say this one is just okay.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By kmiller on October 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is a great teaching book. Great for inferring. The illustations are darling and it creates lots of conversation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Williams VINE VOICE on December 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
THE READER is a picture book for children ages three through seven. It is the story of a boy who goes up a snowy mountain with his little brown dog. They play together in the snow, enjoy a snack, and the boy reads a story to the dog. Then they sled back to the comforts of home.

This is a simple story, with a lot of heart. The boy loves reading, and wants to share that love, even with his dog. The artwork is beautiful. The colors are saturated, and the colors and artistic style are child-friendly.

The style of the text, though, leads me to give this book a strong four rather than a five-star rating. A few of the words in the text, such as "impeccably," are not child-friendly words. Some of the sentence structure is a little clumsy. Overall, though, this is a good, quiet, "read-with-me" book for preschool and early school age children, the kind of book that this age group (but not much younger or older) will request for their story of the day.

About me: Though I presently teach college composition, I also have a degree in library science with a specialization in school library and literature for children and youth.
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