Children's & Young Adult Books

Welcome to the world: ‘Hello World’ by Lisa Shanahan & Leila Rudge

At a time when it is hard to feel positive about much that’s happening in the world, it was good therapy to open this sweet new picture book from Lisa Shanahan with its lively pastel illustrations by Leila Rudge.

The story takes us through a day in the life of a toddler, and allows readers (even adults who might be weighted down with worries like Covid or climate change) to see the world fresh, through the eyes of a small one exploring a great, big world for the first time.

The text is in simple rhyming couplets about familiar, comforting routines and scenes, while the illustrations carry the subtext of a diverse Australian family, pets, toys, daily chores and fun.

Hello milk
Hello toast
Hello boys
I love the most.

Hello shorts
Hello hat.
Hello twirly-curly cat.

Hello World

The comfort of the close domestic scenes reminded me a little of the classic Peepo! by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, one of my all-time favourite picture books for the very young. Hello World is very Australian and modern, but covers the same timeless themes of family life.

It is a lovely counter to cynicism and bad news, and a terrific addition to Australian children’s bookshelves.

Hello World was published July 2021 by HarperCollins Children’s Books.

My thanks to the publishers for a review copy.

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