By Luciana De Luca • Illustrated by Cynthia Alonso$ 17.95
“Young bookworms will savor this ode to the joy of reading.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
About this book
An enchanting picture book about the magic of books and reading
While their parents are sleeping in, a young bookworm sneaks out of bed with one goal in mind: to spend the day reading.
The Reader is a whimsically illustrated love letter to books. This breathtaking picture book, from two acclaimed Argentinean creators, is a celebration of reading and a child’s imagination. Inspire beginning readers to become armchair adventurers by exploring what lies between the pages of a book.Brand: Luciana De Luca
“A young child wakes early and slips through the quiet house into the family library. Allowed to read ‘… all the books you can reach,’ the young protagonist revels in the freedom and adventure offered through books. Originally published in Argentina, the English translation is particularly deft, using evocative yet accessible language that is a pleasure to ponder; ‘The day begins on tiptoes, in tiny whispers, as I climb down the stairs … At this time of day, I am the owner of the house, which happily opens its corners to me.’ The story is an ode to the physical experience and pleasure of reading, as well as the wonder and possibilities accessed via the written word; yet the illustrations shine just as brightly as the text. Soft primary colors with chalky textures create a bold, dreamy landscape where the protagonist (and accompanying cats) travel through a world getting larger through stories. One particularly lovely spread balances the stillness of reading with the action involved as readers’ eyes bounce back and forth across the turning pages, imagination furiously working. Best for one-on-one or small group contemplation. VERDICT While the concept of books being a doorway to imagination has been thoroughly explored both artistically and academically, this appealing volume manages to feel fresh and, well, novel in every way. A lovely addition to most collections.” — School Library Journal
“Wearing a yellow sweatshirt and purple leggings, a child tiptoes ‘in tiny whispers’ to their family’s library early one morning. (‘At this time of day, I am the owner of the house,/ which happily opens its corners to me.’) The ungendered protagonist is allowed to read everything within reach—and they do (‘As I grow taller, I’ll reach more’). Luca’s poetic text speaks to the tenderness with which this reader relates to books and their contents; even while other kids play outside, ‘I choose a book, and then another./ And I read.’ In deep purples and greens with scratchy textures, Alonso’s joyful artwork brings to life the idea that a page is a door to new worlds—in one image, a volume opens a rectangular hole that transports them to ‘wild places where the animals rule’ and ‘underwater worlds, where/ you never need to come up for air,’ and offers the chance to ‘be a giant/ or… be invisible.’ Luscious language and vibrant illustrations come together in this story sure to delight bibliophiles. Ages 3–8.” — Publisher Weekly
“A young child prefers reading to any other activity. This fortunate child has a dedicated in-home library and is encouraged to read any book reachable on the shelves, with others to be read upon growing taller. Some are at belly-button level, some at shoulder height, and some as high as fingertips can touch. The child has light-brown skin and a mop of straight, black hair, wears a yellow top, pajama pants, and purple socks, and narrates without revealing gender. Nor does it matter. This child tells those other readers, the ones listening to the narration, how wonderful reading can be. With or without pictures, whether serious, mysterious, or lighthearted, books transport the narrator to places wild and free. The child is not distracted or tempted by seeing other children playing outside but is perfectly content to read book after book, weaving in and out of imagined worlds and contemplating them long after the books are closed. The English translation from the Spanish is not credited, but the beautifully constructed, soaring words are perfectly in sync with Alonso’s colorful, fanciful depictions of the child’s out-of-this-world experiences as well as the intensity with which the books are devoured. Young bookworms will savor this ode to the joy of reading. (Picture book. 4-10)” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About the Author
Cynthia Alonso (1987) studied graphic design at the University of Buenos Aires, where she also taught typography. She started illustrating children’s books in 2016. Her first book Acuario was published in 2017 by the Portuguese publisher Orfeo Negro and was later published in the USA (Chronicle Books), Korea, China, Spain and Latin America. She is the Illustrator of Under the Canopy: Trees around the World (Flying Eye Books). Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators of New York and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. She currently lives in Berlin.