School Library Journal
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PreS-Gr 2—This is a sweet, poetic text about being welcome and inclusive. The text lacks a narrative story, instead providing rhymes encompassing the concepts of kindness, beginning visually with a boy starting a new school and ending with a new family being welcomed into a town. The illustrations follow a diverse goup of children who embark on various activities: attending story time, visiting the park, gardening, and arriving at an airport, among other things. The book culminates with a neighborhood picnic and the words, "It sends a message loud and clear. Hello, friend. I'm glad you're here." The brightly colored, full-bleed illustrations have a collage feel and are made with simple, geometric shapes. Unfortunately, the depiction of multiple characters' experiences muddles the story, making it hard to follow. Nevertheless, stories about inclusiveness, kindness, simple hospitality, and positive representations are all in high demand these days, and this attractive title fits the bill. VERDICT Most libraries and preschools will find this a welcome addition.—Amy Lilien-Harper, Wilton Lib., CT

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.