Hello Hello

2017 Caldecott Honor recipient Brendan Wenzel (They All Saw a Cat) shares his passion for conservation in a vibrant romp starring a cornucopia of wildlife and two house cats.

In a dazzling variety of media, including cut paper, pencils, oil pastels, marker and digital art, author/illustrator Wenzel presents a prodigious cast of fauna. His read-aloud-ready rhyming text compares and connects disparate species, pairing a cheetah and a yellow boxfish for "Hello Spots" or a tiny chameleon with a vast whale shark for "Hello Giant/ Hello Not." In this celebration of commonalities, though, sharp-eyed readers will note the giant fish and the petite reptile have similar skin patterns. The endearing creatures goggle playfully at each other with wide, round eyes vaguely reminiscent of Wallace and Gromit as Wenzel crescendos into a leaping, dancing invitation: "A world to see/ A world to know./ Where to begin?/ Hello Hello." Humanity even gets a turn in the spotlight, with a smiling orangutan exchanging the thumbs-up sign with two tousle-haired children.

Hello Hello encourages readers age three to eight years to look for similarities, not differences, when considering our fellow travelers on starship Earth. Young animal fans will find a memorization-worthy prize at the end: two spreads of keyed charts labeling each animal in the book by species and, if applicable, conservation status. Anyone can identify a lion, but children who possess this book will know a brownbanded bamboo shark ("Near Threatened") or Araripe manakin ("Critically Endangered") on sight. This uplifting visual delight will inspire a new generation of youngsters to love the natural world. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services division manager at Main Branch, Dayton Metro Library

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