Review of Hello

by Fiona Woodcock; illus. by the author
Preschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.
5/19    978-0-06-264456-6    $17.99

In Look (rev. 7/18), Woodcock strung together a series of words with double os, more or less one per page, to tell a story of a brother and sister visiting the zoo. In this companion, double ls get the same treatment, as the siblings spend the day at a seaside amusement park (“BRILLIANT!”). Bumper cars “collide,” carousel horses “gallop,” and, at day’s end, at their campsite, children “collapse.” All of the hand-crafted lettering is integrated into the illustrations, and Woodcock boosts the jaunty wordplay by incorporating many of the ls into the pictures themselves: the ls in the word spill are straws tumbling out of an overturned cup; those in marshmallow are toasting sticks held over a campfire. The bright, ebullient images, in reds, yellows, and blues, feature open composition with lots of movement, and the use of heavy, buff paper stock enhances their tactile, textured richness. Woodcock’s careful attention to light establishes a morning-to-night story arc, though this is an outing that will be (repeatedly) enjoyed at any time of day.

From the May/June 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Thom Barthelmess
Thom Barthelmess
Thom Barthelmess is Youth Services Manager for the Whatcom County Library System in northwest Washington State.

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