Hello Hello

Brendan Wenzel. Chronicle, $17.99 (52p) ISBN 978-1-4521-5014-7
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. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/08/2018
Release date: 03/20/2018
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