FICTION

The Reader

Interlink. Sept. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781623719388.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2–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.

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