Saturday, November 10, 2012

hello! hello! By Matthew Cordell

I have waited impatiently for this picture book to be released since John Schu recommended it this past summer. Last week my copy FINALLY arrived in the mail. I sat down and opened it up. My boys immediately sat down on the couch – looking at me expectantly. And so the first of many reads of this beautiful book began.

This book discusses a dilemma many parents have faced – giving more attention to technology and the world related to the devices than the actual world we live in (and the people that are in it.) The main character, Lydia, is surrounded by technology but once she goes outside, her imagination takes over. Lydia, in turn, helps wake up her parents and brother to the world that awaits us if we will just put down our phones, laptops, tablets, etc.

hello! hello! is a beautiful picture book. The actual layout is gorgeous. Cordell talks about how he illustrated it with John Schu a few weeks ago. Read the interview HERE. (Side note – when I introduced this book to my homeroom, one of the students said, “Hey, Mr. Schu read that book while jumping on a trampoline.” I have NOT shown them that video, the kids hear so much about Mr. Schu – and Mr. Sharp – that they are now reading their blogs on their own. SO COOL!)

I shared this book with all three of my fifth grade reading classes last Thursday. What I loved was all of the conversations that ensued. They noticed the text, the use of color – and when it was introduced, they noticed hidden gems in the illustrations. I had read the book three times before reading it to my classes – I loved how I got more on each reading from them then I ever expected to.

I think what I enjoyed most about this beautiful book is that it had the potential to come off preachy, but absolutely didn’t. I think this is a book that should be in every family’s bookshelf and every teacher’s library.