Saturday, February 08, 2020

Written in the Stars! HELLO by Aiko Ikegami


It's a little ET, with two little antennae, emerging from his red and blue space craft. decked out in a blue spacesuit and red cape. He strides off confidently to scope out the scene, exchanging waves with a cottontail rabbit, and makes his way toward a nearby town.

A gray crowd of gray-clothed office workers flow by him unaware, despite his efforts to greet them.

He sits sadly by himself, until a little girl comes by and offers him a big red marker. The two draw side by side, the girl doing a petaled flower and the little alien some squiggles. And then together, they make their drawings into paper airplanes, and fly them together. And when the girl's airplane gets stuck in a tree, the little ET levitates to bring it down, an amazing feat which calls for shared double-dip ice cream cones. And when their top dips fall to the ground and begin to melt, the alien visitor restores the ice cream--all they can eat.

But then it's time for this little extraterrestrial to call home. His spaceship comes for him, and with farewell waves, he lifts off into the sky and returns to his own planet. He is welcomed by a crowd, and the young space traveler is debriefed, sketching his whole adventure for his people.

He looks sadly back into the sky. And back on Earth, his friend is lonely, too. Should he send her a message? He spells it out in stars.


In a wordless but charming depiction of a close encounter of the friendly kind, Aiko Ikegami's Hello (Creston Books, 2019) is an intriguing space fantasy of finding a friend in faraway places. "This book does a wonderful job of demonstrating and capturing the beauty and wonder of unique friendships. Out of this world!" says School Library Journal.

Labels: , ,