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A single leaf blown through a crack in a door tempts a girl outdoors, away from her many screens, in this plug for three-dimensional living. Indoors is awash in gray to convey the monotony of video games that end, computer programs that won't load, cell phones that don't have a signal. The girl tries to "connect" with her parents and brother by talking to them ("Hello, Dad"). But while Dad offers an answering hello, his attention never leaves his smartphone. At first the minimal text includes the tak tak tak of fingers on a keyboard (Mom's) and the zap beep pow of a computer game (brother's). Outdoors, the grayness gives way to abundant color and energetic black lines, while the beeps give way to the sniff of a nose against a flower. Cordell then turns the contrast way up, with the girl's hearty "Hello, world!" and her horseback ride that becomes a parade of animals-antelope, ostrich, gorilla, blue whale, and more-all shouting greeting to one another. Sure, it's message-y, but the message comes with whimsical cartoon art and a keen sense of humor. The ring ring ring of an angry cell phone eventually sends the girl home, but nobody can stay mad-or inside-for long when there are dinosaurs and giraffes out there eager to take them for a ride. christine m. heppermann—Horn Book
K-Gr 6 Bored with her electronic equipment, a girl finds a new world to explore in this nearly wordless picture book. Cordell uses pen-and-ink and watercolor snapshots in a sea of white space to great effect, along with text in an old, impersonal computer typeface, to show the distance between the child and her parents and baby brother, all of whom are absorbed in their own devices. A colorful leaf blows through the door inviting the child outside where she encounters the sunny natural world in a spread that bursts with color. The limited text is now warm and handwritten. The girl says hello to a ladybug, a flower, and a horse. Her imagination soars as she rides the horse through this bright expanse and meets many animals until her cell phone rings. The text goes back to the bland computer font and the page turns white as the horse stops suddenly, bringing the whole experience crashing to a halt. The girl rushes back to frantic, worried parents and the gray, electronic home she left behind. She gives her mother the gift of the leaf in exchange for the laptop, her father a flower in exchange for his phone, and introduces her brother to the ladybug. Together the family enjoys the outdoors. In fewer words than the standard tweet, Cordell shows how members of a family can reconnect. This is a must-have for starting a conversation about what can be experienced and shared with others once the electronic devices are turned off and the imagination is turned on. Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY—SLJ
Into a family's device-dominated existence, Cordell inserts this tribute to the realms of nature and the imagination. Lydia, bored with gadgets that fail to activate or stimulate, turns to parents and a brother too immersed in their own digital miasmas to look up. An open door and a fluttering leaf beckon, and Lydia, once outside, encounters a bug, a field of flowers and-leaping from the natural to the fantastic-a horse who greets her by name. In ensuing double-page spreads, the galloping girl is joined by an increasingly exotic horde of animals-from bison to gorilla, T. rex to blue whale. With her cellphone's "RING RING RING," it all comes to a screeching halt, as both parents call her home. Now nature's ambassador, Lydia-always depicted in color against the tonal gray-washes of her home and family-exchanges Mom's laptop for a leaf, Dad's PDA for a flower and brother Bob's tablet for the ladybug that's clung to her dress throughout her adventure. Inked letters toggle between a digital look (for the device-obsessive scenes) and a brushy, casually penned script for the wider world. In the charming penultimate spread, the family (with that ladybug now clinging to Bob) admires the falling leaves; in the last, all four ride careening (or swimming) animals. This wry object lesson blends clever design and a sincere, never-preachy delivery. Terrific! (Picture book. 3-7)—Kirkus
Children and adults will be able to relate to the main character in this picture book. Although it is populated by few words, the pictures range from very simple drawings to full-color pages. When the little girl greets her mom, Mom replies distractedly as she taps on her computer. When she tries to converse with her dad, he is involved on his phone. Her brother is playing on a video game, so after seeing a leaf blow in she follows it outside and meets all kinds of creatures. When her phone rings, she is able to introduce her family to the great outdoors. Beverly Combs, Librarian, Parsons PreKindergarten School, Garland, Texas Recommended—Library Media Connection
Posted September 20, 2013
Lydia's family is busy using their electronics so Lydia journeys outside and discovers flowers and bugs and animals. She forgets to tell her family where she is so they soon call her and she rushes home but with her she brings a bit of the outside back to them. The story ends with the family outside enjoying nature at it's best. The beginning of the story is written in cell phone text which I found to be very appropriate. Once Lydia journeys outside the text changes and the colors get brighter. A great story to remind you to stop and smell the roses.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.