Hello, Door (Alastair Heim)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Hello, Door, written by Alastair Heim and illustrated by Alisa Coburn, a cheeky spin on a classic tale.

In a twist on the Goldilocks fairytale, a sneaky fox in classic prowler’s attire creeps into the home of the Bear family while they are out. Rhyming text greets the things he sees (“Hello, door”, “Hello, sink”, “Hello, snack”, etc.) as he avails himself to the home’s food, fancy furnishings, and family treasures. But as he is admiring himself decked out in his soon-to-be-stolen gains, the Bear family returns home to teach him a lesson in respecting others’ property.

Man, I really wanted to like this one. The art is phenomenal, having a wonderful cartoon style in a simple yet exciting color palette and wonderfully designed characters and environments. The text is simple and fun to read aloud, and enjoyable for little ones like JJ who are learning to identify household objects. And even though the fox was being very naughty, there was a sense that his comeuppance would come, and it did… sort of. Mama Bear picks up the thieving Fox and hurls him far into the air, a satisfying punishment for his crime – until he lands in the yard of an even bigger and fancier home, smirking at the reader while the text indicates that the treasures inside are his next targets. It’s honestly a little unsettling, especially because the fox wasn’t merely being mischievous but committing a FELONY. It would have been far more satisfying to see him properly disciplined for his crimes. Otherwise, the length was fine, and JJ did enjoy the art and text. With a different ending, this one would have been a gem, but as is? Not for us.

This Is Not My Hat (Jon Klassen)

Hello, everyone! Today, we read This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen, a cute and funny little story about two fish and a coveted hat.

A little fish swims along, wearing a dashing little derby. But as he informs the audience, it is not his hat. He took it from a much bigger fish while that fish was sleeping. He probably won’t wake up for a long while. And even if he does, he probably won’t even notice the hat is missing. And even if he does, he probably won’t figure out who took it… or will he?

This was a delightfully silly tale that craftily juxtaposes the thief’s narrative (positive that he will get away will his ill-gotten hat), and the reality of the situation (the bigger fish is awake, aware, and coming to get his hat back!) to create a very funny read for children. The text is simple and humorous, fun to read, and a good length for little ones. The illustrations are fun, too, and tell a lot without words, though the colors were a bit dark to be stimulating for baby bookworms. That being said, JJ still enjoyed it, and it was a great book to teach the word “fish” during! All in all, an enjoyable read that is Baby Bookworm approved!