Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Hello Hello by Matthew Cordell (Disney Hyperion)

Hello, Hello

Written and Illustrated by
Matthew Cordell

Published by Disney Hyperion

Oh now here's a message that we received loud and clear, a message that we've probably had a few rants about on this very blog. To us, there's nothing more tragic than arriving at a gorgeous countryside retreat, or a fabulous family day out, only to spot "The Thumb Swipe Brigade". While the children are happily making memories, having the time of their lives, spot their parents languishing under a shady tree absolutely wrapped up with their mobile phones. Intensely gazing into the screen as if it holds the very secret of life, the universe and everything while real life carries on around them.

I won't get into an extended rant about it (honest) but this is the crux of Matthew Cordell's brilliant "Hello, Hello". The tale opens with a little girl at the centre of our new and interconnected world. Mum barely mumbles a greeting because she's gazing lovingly at her computer screen. Dad doesn't even look up from his smartphone, and little brother is busy zapping aliens or collecting coins with his portable games console.

It would be easy for the girl to fall into the same trap, the digital lure of glowing entertainment but a gust of wind, and a single leaf blows in through the door and the girl goes outside.

Outside, the fresh air, the amazing scenery, the woodlands and all the creatures who dwell in it (and as the girl's imagination is spurred on, a few more creatures you wouldn't expect to see floating through the air - many of these caused a titter with Charlotte).

The girl's adventurous day continues, but what of her family? How can she lure them away from their screens?

She has an idea, a cunning plan - and it might just work...!

We've really loved the idea of this book from start to finish, and it's a book that might just cause a few parents to realise that they're missing out on huge swathes of their child's life as they sit around updating their Facebook timeline with some meaningless drivel, or (ahem) tweet about their favourite flavour of tea.

Charlotte's best bit: What on earth is a blue whale doing floating gracefully through the air?

Daddy's Favourite bit: A fantastic message solidly delivered with more than a wry grin and a tongue firmly placed betwixt jaw and cheek. Fabulous stuff!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Disney Hyperion Books)