Monday, April 23, 2018

Getting to Know You! Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel

It begins quietly, with black and white--a white cat and a black cat.

And then there are those who are black and white--a panda and a zebra.


Animals of varied hues and shades and markings follow--striped tigers and lizards, spotted leopards and spotted leopard fish.


Whopper whales and itsy bitsy chameleons follow.

In Brendan Wenzel's vivid and vivacious new picture book, Hello Hello (Chronicle Books, 2018), animals are in focus in all their glorious varieties. They come in a splendid array of shapes and sounds--tall and short, bulbous and sleek, with roars, peeps, chirps, and cheeps. They are strange as the platypus and pangolin, wild as narwhals and wolves, showy as peacocks and birds of paradise, all depicted in colors that put the rainbow to shame.

From aardvark to Atlantic sailfish, cassowary to kingfisher, they parade across the pages in all their splendor and diversity in artist Brendan Wenzel's stunning illustrations which dazzle the eye and nourish the mind, introducing the physical variety and names of many less-than-familiar creatures.

A Caldecott Honor Award winner for his They All Saw a Cat (Hardback) - 2016 Edition (see review here) Wenzel is an illustrator whose eye-candy art is evocative of that of Steve Jenkins and Eric Carle, and like Jenkins and Carle, the art serves his premise seamlessly, backed up by an informational glossary which describes the animals in order of appearance and ranks them as vulnerable, near threatened, or endangered. A first purchase for libraries, this is a picture book that hits all the marks for substance and kid appeal, useful for zoo trip day or Earth Day, or for any animal unit study.



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