Posted by Meghan
It seems like every other book we read is a bedtime story. At bedtime that’s wonderful, but sometimes it seems a little strange to be reading Goodnight Moon at ten in the morning. And one of the prime reading times for the twins is first thing in the morning, right before breakfast. They’re still snugly from sleep, but ready to greet the new day. So it was with delight that I realized the other day that we read 4 books in a row- all books that we currently LOVE – that were in some way about saying “Hello!” So if you don’t want to say “Goodnight,” here are some wonderful and different ways of saying “Hello.”
Hello Hello by Dan Zanes, illustrated by Donald Saaf
This book is an illustrated song by kid’s musician Dan Zanes (formerly of The Del Fuegos). We fell in love with the beautiful, imaginative illustrations first, then the music, and last they lyrics. The kids continue to delight in the pictures, and finding new things, but it’s the words that stay with me. Especially the last page, which has “Hello” in several different languages. Nothing makes you smile quite as hard as your toddler cheerily yelling, “Ni Hao!” to you in the morning. An extra bonus is the 4 additional songs on the CD.
Everybody Bonjours by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Sarah Mcmenamy
This is a delightful little book with very pretty pictures illustrating the sights of Paris, where a little girl visits with her parents and everyone says “Bonjour!”. Kids like echoing the repetitive “bonjours” and you’ll like hearing it. I didn’t particularly think of this as a hello book, until my daughter demanded I read “hello book” and handed me this one. Then at the end, I realized why- when the girl in the story is home again, everyone “Hellos.”
Hello Ocean: Hola Mar by Pam Munoz Ryan
This is a bilingual book, which is great for both parents and kids- my kids love the sound of the unfamiliar Spanish words, the beautiful English sentiments and the striking pictures, while I love practicing learning the simple Spanish phrases as well. We happen to live in a city where Spanish is spoken almost as much as English and is near the ocean to boot, but even if you don’t, your kids will take to this lovely book.
Bark , George by Jules Feiffer
Animals say hello too, and in this charming story, George says hello like several animals, but never like a dog, no matter how hard his mother tries to get him to bark. George is finally cured and says, “Arf”, but to kids delight, he ends by saying “Hello” like their very favorite animal- themselves!
These are only our favorite Hello books that we’ve recently discovered. Please let us know if you know of more! As toddlers learn to be more social, and enjoy saying hello and goodbye to everyone they meet on the street, this is a relevant and favorite category of books to explore, learn from, and imitate.