Hello! Hello!

Matthew Cordell. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-4231-5906-3
Cordell (Another Brother) outdoes himself with this silly, loving nose-tweak to digital civilization. Lydia’s electronic gadgets fail to charm her one afternoon, and her family members—all drawn in shades of gray—are lost in their own virtual worlds. “Pec Pec Pec,” her father texts in an anonymous LCD font. “Zap Beep Pow,” chirps her brother’s video game. Led outside by a stray leaf, Lydia discovers trees, bugs, flowers, and a horse who knows her name. The outdoor world appears in full color, Cordell’s text becomes hand-lettered, and the action unspools faster and faster. The horse carries Lydia through the flowers, picking up by twos and threes an improbable group of animal friends—a fish, a gorilla, a swan, even a whale—who chorus “hello” and thunder across the fields with them, until Lydia’s cellphone rings and everything comes to a halt. Fortunately, upon her return, Lydia is able to entice her family outside. The vision of Lydia and her escape is a glorious image of liberation; it’s required reading for any kid with a phone. Ages 2–6. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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