Pub week for The Reader!

This Tuesday my latest book, THE READER, hit shelves. Hooray!! I've been waiting a long while for this one to come out. I had such a fantastic time illustrating Amy Hest's sweet story. And really, there is nothing I like to draw more than dogs, snowscapes, and teeny children :)

Our publishing house threw an amazing luncheon to celebrate the release of the book on Tuesday. Delicious food, wine and fantastic company. How wonderful to be able to gather together with all the people who put their hearts in to this project, and toast to the special day. It certainly isn't often I take time to celebrate my book releases. I should do it more :) When I arrived home Tuesday evening, this beautiful bouquet was waiting at my doorstep. Thank you ACP for everything you have done to make this a successful and memorable launch! ♥

And here is a fantastic review that just came in from Booklist:

"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. —Ann Kelley, Booklist Aug 2012