Say hello by Jack and Michael Foreman

cover image

Walker, 2007
(Ages: 5-8) A deceptively simple picture book with a powerful message, Say hello tells the story of a young boy who is left out and all alone, watching while other children have fun playing together. 'When someone's feeling left out, low, it doesn't take much to say... 'Hello!' is the underlying message.
Michael Foreman's sparse black and white illustrations alleviated with some blue lines and a red ball, complement the story's theme of loneliness and sadness and bring to life the longing of the isolated boy to be part of the group. The joy on his face when he is included is a delight.
This picture book is on the 2009 Cilip Kate Greenaway Medal longlist and is sure to help children to identify with those who are left out of activities. The idea of just saying 'Hello' is a simple way to helping children to feel included. The end papers contain many different words for saying hello and will be fun to use. Discussions about loneliness, friendship, inclusion and bullying could be engendered from the book.
Pat Pledger