STARRED REVIEW
April 06, 2018

What connects all creatures great and small

illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Review by

The generous, wide trim size of Brendan Wenzel’s exuberant new picture book, Hello Hello, gives readers a hint as to the treat in store. Inside, they witness a 48-page parade of animals on glorious display—an array of creatures from around the world. It’s an entertaining and informative tribute to the animal kingdom and some of its endangered creatures.

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The generous, wide trim size of Brendan Wenzel’s exuberant new picture book, Hello Hello, gives readers a hint as to the treat in store. Inside, they witness a 48-page parade of animals on glorious display—an array of creatures from around the world. It’s an entertaining and informative tribute to the animal kingdom and some of its endangered creatures.

The book opens with two cats, one white and one black, and a greeting: “Hello Hello.” The page turn reveals that the black cat has walked onto the page, greeting a line of new creatures. The series of animals on each subsequent spread is connected by the last animal on the previous spread by one trait. In this way, and via the spare rhyming text, Wenzel is asking readers to think about how they relate to one another and which one trait the animals on each spread have in common (size, shape, patterns, etc.). One of the last pages even brings humans into the picture and is followed by a final spread (which reads “Where to begin?”), that features each and every creature that readers have seen in the book.

Wenzel’s closing note tells readers they just said hello to some of his favorite animals. He goes on to explain that many of them are endangered, but that the solution “starts with saying hello.” Not only is Wenzel encouraging awareness about endangered species, but his dynamic multi-media illustrations of these creatures with their varying shapes, colors, rich textures and patterns also remind readers that creatures all over the globe are connected in ways we may not have imagined.

Thought-provoking and full of life in more ways than one, this is for human creatures everywhere.

 

Julie Danielson features authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children’s literature blog.

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hello! hello!

hello! hello!

illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Hyperion
ISBN 9781423159063

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