Hello Hello

A world to see. A world to know.

Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, Amazon, Working Mother and more: A new picture book from Brendan Wenzel, the New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Honor-winning author of They All Saw a Cat!

Hello, Hello! Beginning with two cats, one black and one white, a chain of animals appears before the reader, linked together by at least one common trait. From simple colors and shapes to more complex and abstract associations, each unexpected encounter celebrates the magnificent diversity of our world-and ultimately paints a story of connection.

Wenzel starts with two cats and a greeting: Hello Hello. They eye each other across a white backdrop. A page turn reveals a black bear, panda, zebra, and striped fish: Black and White. The next page provides a blast of color: more tropical fish, a brilliant parrot, a fuchsia lobster-and completes the rhyme (Hello Color Hello Bright). More creatures and greetings bring the story into focus- it’s a celebration of the myriad forms of animal life this planet hosts. In richly textured mixed-media compositions, Caldecott Honor recipient Wenzel (They All Saw a Cat) balances realism and engaging caricature. The animals’ coats and features are rendered with careful attention, and each animal face sports cartoonish, wide-open eyes, the better to give each other impish looks. In an author’s note, Wenzel urges readers to know the creatures they share the Earth with, especially those that are threatened or endangered. (Official names are supplied in two keyed drawings at the back.) It’s a joyful way to deliver a message about the fragility of life on Earth and what would be lost if more of it disappeared.Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Bursting with energy and stuffed to the brim with animals from across the globe, this latest from Caldecott Honor Book creator Wenzel (They All Saw a Cat, 2016) is more than an average bestiary. In simple, rhyming text that’s suited both to emerging readers and storytime read-alouds, Wenzel displays a colorful (and, for that matter, not colorful, too) array of animals big and small, ordinary and strange, from the land and from the sea. The vibrantly illustrated animals, all sporting Wenzel’s trademark adorably bugged eyes, pop against a white background as they greet one another: Hello Hello / Black and White / Hello Color / Hello Bright. There are certainly some recognizable critters here (lions, tigers, and bears all claim page space, as do two young, diverse humans themselves), but plenty of others are more unusual (narwhals, tamarins, echidnas). Others still may be entirely new for young readers (mud puppies, an aardwolf, kiwis). For the curious, a final four-page spread identifies each creature by their silhouette. In an author’s note, Wenzel gently touches on conservation, explaining that each animal is a vital part of an ecosystem, and that many shown here are threatened or endangered. The first step to saving these animals, he says, is learning about them, and this vivacious, utterly appealing early STEM offering will surely inspire young readers to do just that.Maggie Reagan / Booklist (starred review)