Review of Hello: How Nüwa Created the World

Hello: How Nüwa Created the World
by Viola Wang; illus. by the author
Primary    Little Bee    40 pp.
2/24    9781499814927    $18.99
e-book ed.  9781499814934    $9.99

This story (inspired by the Chinese myth of Nüwa, who crafted humankind) takes readers and listeners on a journey back to a time “when the world was still young,” with Nüwa as the sole inhabitant yearning for a simple yet profound thing: someone to say “hello” to. After reaching out to the creatures around her with no response, she felt sad and “cried for three whole days,” creating a gigantic puddle around her. She then molds a new friend from the mud, and they greet each other with a heartfelt “hello.” Nüwa continues, creating more friends who spread across the world, building “homes and farms and cities” and raising their own families. This leads to a double-page spread with people saying “hello,” each in a different language. The concise narrative beautifully conveys Nüwa’s longing for companionship. The illustrations, rendered in bold neon colors, particularly a vibrant pink, bring this world playfully to life. This heartwarming and visually captivating book emphasizes the significance of reaching out and forging connections and underscores the enduring importance of communication and community.

From the January/February 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Weileen Wang
You-Ling (Weileen) Wang loves to write, read, and illustrate. She attended Vanderbilt University, where she studied child development and fell in love with children's literature. She holds a master's degree in arts in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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