Ashman and Chou look at some simple ways to say, “Hello, friend. / I’m glad you’re here,” with acts of kindness and friendly gestures.
From waves and handshakes among humans to nose-to-nose sniffing between two dogs, the text looks at the many ways one can share a welcome with someone else, be they old or young, well known or someone new to you. Retrieving a blown-away hat, helping a new student find their way, showering love on a newly adopted dog, holding a homemade sign at the airport arrivals gate, and providing toad abodes and birdhouses are all put forth in the gently rhyming text. ”An offering, / A smiling face / That lights an unfamiliar place” shows neighbors bringing garden largesse and a neighborhood picnic invitation to a family that’s just moved in—cardboard boxes are piled outside, and they were previously seen arriving at the airport. That neighborhood picnic ends the book on a high note, people from all walks of life and every shade (many from previous pages) sharing a wonderful day together. Two women wear hijab; a small kid uses a wheelchair; and there is a same-sex couple raising a baby. Simple, stylized artwork in bright shades keep the focus on the interactions, and readers will delight in finding the blue butterfly in every scene.
A springboard for readers to consider their own ways to welcome.(Picture book. 3-7)