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72 Reviews
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reader
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...
Published on October 24, 2012 by Linda Stanek

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle, lyrical story encourages love of reading
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...
Published 23 months ago by April E.


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Reader, October 24, 2012
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This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle, lyrical story encourages love of reading, January 22, 2013
This review is from: The Reader (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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of Reading, December 6, 2012
By 
KWJ (Los Angeles) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
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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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, December 12, 2012
This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
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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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quiet "snow day" book for preschool and early school age, December 16, 2012
This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
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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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!, December 2, 2012
By 
Susan Kenney (West Hartford, Vermont United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cute book!, October 28, 2012
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This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for Christmas and for All Seasons, December 11, 2012
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This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
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THE READER is an equal collaboration between writer Amy Hest and illustrator Lauren Castillo: individually they would stand but their combined effect is most impressive. Find books for children that encourage reading in such a magnetic manner is a pleasure. Were there only more as fine as this!

The story is simple - it is wintertime and a small boy and his pet dog are out on an adventure with a strange suitcase in hand. The boy pulls his sled up a tall hill while the dog pounces around having a perfectly joyous day and reaches the top of the hill before the boy. But once there the boy opens the suitcase, what is inside? A book titled 'The Good Friends'- one both love and share and is a symbol of the camaraderie between the boy and dog and a beautiful lesson in friendship and working together to reach goals.

Hest's story is well paced and one that provides children with excitement and suspense. Castillo's illustrations are beautiful watercolors that fill every inch of every page - a dramatic and stunning achievement. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, December 12
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect winter day, December 10, 2012
This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
On a cold and snowy day, a boy and his dog set out with a sled to conquer a big hill. The boy struggles to drag the sled to the summit, while the dog runs and plays, but eventually they both reach the peak and can enjoy the snow. This book perfectly captures the magic of a snowy day for a young child, both in the enjoyment of the weather and the effort that enjoyment can require. Growing up in an area with a winter that produced plentiful snowfall accumulations, this book was a nostalgic trip back to my own childhood and the hours and days spent bundled up outdoors in the snow. A delightful book for anyone who loves winter. And the title? Well, let's just say that you don't have to forsake the outdoors to enjoy a good book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introduces a love of reading, December 11, 2012
By 
G. Dawson (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Reader (Hardcover)
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I love that this children's book introduces a love of reading into an active, outdoor activity. A young boy and his dog walk to the top of the mountain with a sled, and before the fun ride down the slope, the boy pulls a book out of his trusty suitcase and enjoys a good story. Nothing like taking a break on the top of a snowy mountain for a good read! This cute story has simple illustrations and words that will appeal to the 2-4 year-old set. I only have one complaint: the use of the word "impeccably" on one page is a bit beyond the level of the rest of the book's vocabulary, but that's a small problem. Overall, this is a wonderful book that introduces a love of reading into a fun outdoor activity.
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The Reader
The Reader by Amy Hest (Hardcover - October 2, 2012)
$16.99 $9.00
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