Book Review: The Reader by Amy Hest, Lauren Castillo

The-Reader-coverIn 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.

My Husband’s Thoughts…


I read The Reader for the first time with my 4yo daughter. She said she liked it when we were done.

In the event you want a more informative review, I have a few words to share.

The illustrations are colorful and descriptive, and they cover the whole page. I enjoyed them a lot.

The story is, in a nutshell, about a boy and his dog playing in the snow.

The writing was poetic, but sometimes it felt forced. The words didn’t always seem to fit what they were trying to say. The intent was to make the trek up the hill to read a book to a dog sound grand and epic, but for me, it doesn’t seem to work. If the focus of the story is to be about a boy and his dog, a lot of the effort of the words go into the journey and travel, and only a little bit is about the boy’s relationship with the dog.

I’m also a lot more picky than my daughter, so if you were to read it to your kids, I doubt they would have any of these issues.

I’m also not a big dog person, so that was mostly lost on me. I’d recommend this book for kids who love dogs, and loving snow wont hurt.

Buy it: You can purchase this title on for $4.25 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. The list price is regularly $16.99 so this is a really great deal!

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned products in exchange for our opinion of them. This review is 100% my opinion and has not been edited or reviewed by anyone. I was not compensated in any other way for this product review.