The Reader by Amy Hest

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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 the reader 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.


About Amy Hest

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Children's book author Amy Hest was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a children's librarian in the New York Public Library system and in the children's book publishing industry. She has written over thirty children's books, many of which included family and intergenerational themes. She currently lives with her husband in Manhattan. Lauren Castillo is the illustrator of several wonderful picture books including What Happens on Wednesdays by Emily Jenkins and That's Papa's Way by Kate Banks. Her books have received starred reviews from School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Published October 2, 2012 by Two Lions. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Reader

Kirkus Reviews

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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 Tw...

May 02 2012 | Read Full Review of The Reader

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Oct 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Reader

Kirkus Reviews

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Months ago, I received an early copy of Amy Hest’s latest picture book, The Reader, illustrated by Lauren Castillo, and immediately fell for it.

Nov 09 2012 | Read Full Review of The Reader

Entertainment Weekly

You simply can't beat the message: love of reading and sharing that with a good friend.

Oct 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Reader

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