cover image HELLO, HELLO!


Miriam Schlein, , illus. by Daniel Kirk. . S&S, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-83435-6

Schlein's (Billions of Bats) informative and engaging foray into the animal kingdom offers readers a glimpse of the ways in which various creatures greet each other. "When two lions meet,/ how do they say hello?" asks the opening spread. Executed on textured paper, Kirk's (Snow Family) full-bleed oil paintings provide lush accompaniment with a variety of raised textures. The artist pays close attention to the lion's features, capturing the patterns of fur, the wisp of whiskers, then uses crackling paint to simulate craggy shrubs and rakes the skyline with horizontal lines, apparently formed with the end of a paintbrush. The creatures appear close up on the next spread, with dramatic emphasis on the male's flowing mane. "They rub their foreheads together,/ and make a humming noise.../ like this... HMMMM.../ That's how two lions say hello./ Mmmmmm. Hello." Some meet-and-greets, such as the penguins who sing a duet, occur on a single spread. In another, beavers touch noses on the right side of the spread, their bodies partially submerged in the greenish blue water rippling out around them in concentric circles. Schlein wraps up the volume by relating the subject to readers: "How do you say hello?/ With a smile?/ With a wave?" In a break from Kirk's otherwise natural depictions, the animals smile in many of the paintings and, on the closing spread, they assemble in a circle; in the center, a human child and adult embrace. All in all, an excellent introduction to animal behavior. Ages 2-5. (June)