"It's nature's way of telling you to slow down It's nature's way of telling you, look around It's nature's way of receiving you It's nature's way of retrieving you It's nature's way of telling you something's wrong" -- "Nature's Way" by the late Randy California
HELLO! HELLO! is the story of a young girl who learns that, as Joni Mitchell taught us a generation ago, we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.
HELLO! HELLO! begins with the main character's increasing sense of boredom as she fiddles with her array of personal electronic devices. When she then leaves her room and attempts to communicate with her family members, each of them -- mother, father, brother -- are engaged with their own personal electronic devices and only interact with her in an entirely superficial and unfulfilling manner. Seeking something more from this moment, she is enticed outside by a random leaf that blows in through the door. Once outside, she discovers a real world that brings with it a world of surprises that will have young audiences rolling, pointing, and calling out -- especially us young guy readers. Eventually, the magic is interrupted by -- What else? -- a phone call from Mom and Dad. And so the main character dutifully scurries home but, once there, she takes control, powers down her family's various electronic devices, and shows her family members what she has discovered. HELLO! HELLO! could have easily been a heavy, message-driven read. But the message, which certainly is there, is fully leavened by the fantastical, whimsical vision of the World According to Matthew Cordell. And you need to be careful. It is very common in picture books to encounter the copyright page at the end of the book. But it is not at all common to find one last, vital piece of the story hiding after the copyright page. Lucky for me, this was such a fun read that I went through it a couple of times and discovered the very-cool ending. Now, as I am being instructed, I will get my behind off of this couch, and head out into the real world.
ISBN: 978-1-4231-5906-3 52 pages Ages: 2 and Up
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA
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