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HELLO WORLD! by Kelly Corrigan


by Kelly Corrigan ; illustrated by Stacy Ebert

Pub Date: April 6th, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-20606-5
Publisher: Flamingo Books

Cultivate interest not simply in the world, but also in the people who inhabit it.

Behind the facade of yet another picture book to hand to graduates lies a title with grander ambitions. A kid scooters off into the world to text that relates the wonders to come. Using the letter B (for no apparent reason) as a touchstone, the text catalogs everything from bobsledding to boredom. This is all well and good, but the true treasures come when one realizes, “There’s more to everyone than you think.” Readers are encouraged not merely to look and draw assumptions, but to ask people questions to learn more. Characters introduced early appear later with some context. A bicycling ballerina “misses her grandpa Benny,” and “the bully was bullied” (a sign held by a disembodied hand reads, “That’s how he learned to do it”). Even the endpapers get into the act, featuring balloons that sport questions like “What makes someone smart?” and “What’s the best gift you ever got?” This emphasis on humanity separates this title from books that offer empty aphorisms about getting through life. Meanwhile, the cheery art displays a Seussian sensibility but populates its hopeful world with lots of different kinds of people. The brown-skinned protagonist appears to be biracial, with a White-presenting mom and darker-brown-skinned dad who bid their offspring farewell on the first page. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10.3-by-20.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 26% of actual size.)

Less Oh, the Places You’ll Go and more “Oh, the people you will know.” (Picture books. 4-18)