Reviews for Reader


Booklist Reviews 2012 October #2
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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Accompanied by his dog, a boy struggles up a snowy hillside pulling a sled. At the top, they play and share a snack, but the high point of the satisfying expedition occurs when the boy reads "the very best book"--called [cf2]Two Good Friends[cf1]--aloud to his dog. Expressive watercolors set the wintry scene and convey the affectionate companionship between the two friends in this sentimental tale.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 May #2
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) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #2
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) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #1

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.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 December

PreS-K--On a snowy, blowy day, it isn't surprising to see a boy, referred to as "the reader," dragging his sled up the hill. The gray-blue sky grows whiter as he and his brown dog climb. "His boots are high and very heavy, but he is strong, and his train tracks are impeccably straight." The trip up is as lovely as it is challenging: Hest's text is quirky and sweet; Castillo uses changing textures and perspectives compellingly. At the top of the world-or at least the hill-the two companions romp in the snow, share a snack, and then "it's time." A click, the opening of a suitcase, and out comes… a book. This is surprising. Perched on a sled on top of a hill, "the only sound in the world is the sound of the reader reading to the very last page… the very last word." A blue bird listens in. Plump white falling flakes take on the shapes of letters of the alphabet. Getting the sled back down the hill is faster and more fun. The final picture of boy and dog running toward a warm, golden-lit home is reminiscent of countless snowy-day stories. What sets The Reader apart is right there in the title. It's an odd but appealing adventure, a gentle reminder that reading can be precious anytime and anywhere-especially in the company of friends.--Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

[Page 91]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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