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Who is the Mystery Reader?

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  152 ratings  ·  35 reviews
From Mo Willems, creator of the revolutionary, award-winning, best-selling Elephant & Piggie books, comes this breakout beginning-reader series. An ensemble cast of Squirrels, Acorns, and pop-in guests host a page-turning extravaganza. Each book features a funny, furry adventure AND bonus jokes, quirky quizzes, nutty facts, and so, so many Squirrels.

Hardcover, 96 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Hyperion Books for Children
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  152 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Neo returned to reading one of his favourite authors, having recently discovered this new piece to the Mo Willems collection. When a number of squirrels gather together to take a walk, they come across a mysterious sign they cannot read. Enter the Mystery Reader, complete with mask and matching underpants. Through some efforts, Mystery Reader teaches the others to sound out the word, without revealing themselves. As the book progresses, the reader is able to learn a few “acorn-y” jokes, as well ...more
First sentence: Who is the mystery reader? Let’s read and find out!

Premise/plot: The Unlimited Squirrels are starring in their second book. In this “adventure“ the squirrels are trying to discover the identity of the mystery reader wearing a mask and underwear. But perhaps I am rushing ahead. The squirrels see a stop sign and are puzzled by its meaning. What do the letters s,t,o, and p mean? The mystery reader—also a squirrel— comes to “save” the day by helping them read the word. The mystery r
Abby Johnson
Flummoxed by a sign they can't read, the squirrels are helped by the Mystery Reader who teaches them to sound out words they're not sure about. But who is the Mystery Reader? Turns out the Mystery Reader can be any one of us who unlocks reading's superpower. Kids who can't get enough Mo Willems or who miss new Elephant and Piggie books will enjoy this series, too.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This unfortunately missed the mark for me. There's just a LOT going on with it. I really wanted the 'mystery reader' story expanded more, and I REALLY loved the squirrels sounding out letters. I also just realized that I never read the first Unlimited Squirrels book, I Lost My Tooth... so maybe that threw me off a bit.
Oct 01, 2019 added it
Funny parts. And parts I just did not get. 🤔🤨
Piggie and Elephant.
Mark Baker
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, picture-book
This book is broken up into many parts. The main story involves Zoom Squirrel who gets some help in reading for The Mystery Reader, a costumed superhero. But who is the masked man, er squirrel? And can Zoom enter the world of masked superheroes? After the main story, we get a couple of terrible (and by that, I mean delightful) puns and jokes related to reading. There’s also a section where we see the work that goes into creating a book.

As an adult, I don’t find these picture books as
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Childrens beginning reader. I haven't read the first Unlimited Squirrels book, but this one was fun. A cast of squirrels is introduced and then they are shown reading this book. There are several puns and acorny jokes spread throughout (illustrated with emote-acorns) as the squirrels try to identify who the mystery reader is. Young readers will have fun comparing the costumed squirrel to the cast to identify it, though there are also other clues in the text. After the squirrels do some talk abou ...more
I really loved the parts where Mo visually demonstrates how to break down and sound out words. The speech bubbles literally force the reader to practice that skill while seamlessly wrapping it into the story. It doesn’t hurt that all three of my kids started to read on a stop sign, naming and sounding out the letters. So this has a personal resonance as well.

The story is busy, with lots of text bubbles, but I enjoyed the mystery reader element, as well as the sharing of the superpower. What a l
Oct 04, 2019 added it
Shelves: easy-reader
There are a lot of fun things about this book (and series): corny jokes and humor, nutty characters, interesting facts... but, I don't know... I kind of think this would work better as a magazine for kids. It's also a little confusing which age group this is targeted for. There are easy-to-read sections with simple humor... and then it jumps to harder-to-read sections and harder-to-understand facts and jokes.

I can't see myself sharing this with a group of kids or even gifting this to a nephew.
Rebecca Ann
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
If your reader is obsessed with Elephant and Piggie but needs a bigger challenge, these books are just right. Willem's has his signature illustration style, and humor with more challenging punctuation, sentence length, and word choices. There is also fun education information in the back of the book. For me it is just a hair too chaotic, but I like that it introduces kids to tables of contents and backmatter.
“The mask! The underpants! It’s the ... MYSTERY READER!”

A story about a Mystery Reader coming to save the day, three “a-corny jokes,” a snippet from The Book of Wonders about what the very first writing looked like and then a few pages about how Mo Squirrel produces a book. Also include “Emote-Acorns” to let the reader see how the squirrels are feeling the in story.

So much here to ❤! A definite addition to my school library. I look forward to more of these.
Pam  Page
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-readers
I do love the Unlimited Squirrel series and this one has great humor also. I did find this book has a lot on each page for a beginning reader so it may be best read with an adult who can provide some guidance. However, kids LOVE this series and Mo Willems and that motivation makes a big difference!
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am convinced that Mo Willems can do no wrong!

While this book would be quite as fun for kids as the Elephant and Piggie series and the Pigeon books, the Mystery Reader story is still super fun. I love how Willems makes reading seem like a superpower! I also like how this book shows nonfiction information and how a book gets published. This could be used in the classroom to teach so much!
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: early-reader
The story of the mystery reader is enjoyable, but more time should have been spent on that rather than all the additional material, which feel awkward as they repeatedly interrupt the story with other stories and jokes.
Ultimately, the audience is the *real* mystery reader, because I'm not sure who this is intended for.
The Unlimited Squirrels come across a sign that they can't read, but when the Mystery Reader arrives and helps them read the sign nothing will stop them from discovering who the Mystery Reader is. During their investigation they discover many interesting facts about the alphabet, the history of paper, and how to make a book.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-2
This book is about a superhero that encourages kids to read. It is great for kids who love superheros and have an interest in reading. This book is broken up into individual parts and can make it difficult for a child to read. But it is a great way for them to widen their intelligence and become stronger readers as they read this non traditional book.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, easy-reader, 2019
There's a lot going on in this book and not in a good way. There wasn't enough time spent on the mystery reader storyline and all of the random interjections and quick pivots to different stories seem like they'd be difficult for a beginning reader to follow.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lower-elem
Second in the Squirrels books by Willems. This time, they tackle learning to read. Each squirrel has its own personality and are shown on the inside cover. Humorous dialogue throughout along with corny jokes to make readers laugh.
Megan - Alohamora Open a Book
This in one of the better Mo Willems Early Readers. Cute story. Cool nonfiction information in the back, and the Emote-acorns (emojis but acorns) and the jokes throughout make it fun even for those kids that struggle a bit more to read.

Well done Willems!
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture
I wanted to love this book because of the author/ illustrator. But I just didn’t, which makes me a bit sad.

This book felt disjointed and hard to follow. I love the ideas of squirrels in the book....

The illustrations were great, I enjoyed the ones with a white background the most.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I loved this did my 7-year old! It was silly and fun. Mo Willems is a master.
I love this so much that I wish I could find a six year old to dress up as the mystery reader for Halloween. Perhaps I'll be able to find red underpants and a mask. Fun!
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Part early reader, part joke book, part informational about books and letters.
Renee MA
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapter, favorites
A great book for read aloud to review the concept of reading & writing or to read to yourself. Plus, great a-corny jokes! Another hit from Mo!
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
October 2019 - a bit busier and not quite as funny as Elephant and Piggy, but a fun concept for beginning readers. Ben was delighted with the squirrel emojis.
Mixed emotions here. I love Mo Willems. I love his books. I love parts of this book and am puzzled by the ending because it extends past what early readers will be able to read.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved It...corny jokes and all. I don't want to brag but, I think I even solved the is all that Agatha Christie I have read.
Great Books
Nov 15, 2019 is currently reading it
Shelves: 20-ages-6-7
Reviewer #2
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: earlyreader
The additional material was too much.
Not my favorite Mo Willems book, but entertaining just the same.
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#1 New York Times Bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems is best known for his Caldecott Honor winning picture books Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny: a cautionary tale.

In addition to such picture books as Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct, and Time to Pee, Mo has created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of early readers, and published You Can Neve