Hello world!

Hello! Hello! catalog link and cover

Technology is getting younger every day; gadgets for many kids are a given, and books and literacy apps abound. But what happens when we’re too focused on a screen? In this clever interpretation of the most famous line in computer programming, Matthew Cordell’s Hello! Hello! offers a glimpse of digital distraction.

When Lydia tries to get her family’s attention, they barely glance up from their laptops and smartphones. Sighing, she slips outside to be greeted by a world of flowers and wind and trees. But she hasn’t told her family where she’s going…

Even though the book’s dialogue consists entirely of the word “hello,” Cordell’s use of text and illustration gives that word all the nuance it deserves, underscoring the need for communication without being heavy-handed. Digitally-inspired fonts, ranging from “calculator” to Consolas, provide her family’s robotic dialogue, while sweeping strokes shout hello to the wide outside world. White space and grayscale isolate her gadget-focused family from each other, while bright colors fill the pages of the wild outdoors. With style and subtlety, Cordell shows that even though we depend on the “world wide web,” it’s also good to engage personally with a big wide world.

Related reading:

It’s a Book: a monkey explains the mechanism of a paper book to a tech-savvy donkey.

Hello World: computer programming for kids

About Amy

Children's librarian, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
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