"A beautiful pairing of son's sparse rhyming text with father's simple drawings . . . A poignant debut about including others and making friends." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A lone dog comes upon a group of kids playing ball and with leaping ease, joins the game. They're all having so much fun, they don't see a sad little boy standing off by himself. Who will spy the boy and invite him to play? With arresting images by a master illustrator and a simple, touching text by his son, Say Hello evokes the joy and relief of finding a new friend just when you need one the most.
Preschool-Grade 1. A lonely dog wanders though a town, stops to gaze sadly at a boy and his cat, and investigates a tipped-over garbage can. When he comes upon a crowd of children playing with a ball, he approaches them eagerly and makes plenty of new friends. Outside the group, a lonely boy stops to watch them play. Suddenly, the dog approaches and draws him into the group. The text concludes, “When someone’s feeling left out, low, / it doesn’t take much to say . . . Hello!” This forthright statement of the book’s message will endear the book to many preschool teachers, but even better is the sensitivity of its delivery. Both words and pictures are spare and clean. Using repetition of phrases effectively, the text is so brief that only one or two words appear on many of the double-page spreads. The charcoal, colored-pencil, and pastel artwork makes scant use of color, sensitive use of line, and ample use of white space, which visually isolates the lonely characters. A blue horizontal line high on the page sometimes represents the horizon and sometimes suggests a background of trees, tall buildings, or clouds. This beautifully designed offering will resonate with its audience; it’s short and simple enough for beginning readers as well.