Cover image for Hello, world!
Hello, world!
First edition.
Physical Description:
45 pages : color illustrations ; 32 cm.
General Note:
"Christy Ottaviano Books."
Introduces the sights and residents of Happy County, where a lot of things are happening and every day can end on a happy note.


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Hello, World! is a vibrant, graphic picture book compendium for preschoolers set in a Richard Scarry-inspired environment by Geisel Award-winning creator Ethan Long.

Welcome to Happy County, where everyone is out and about! The Bright Brothers are testing their newest invention. Hannah the Handywoman is hunting for her hammer. And Mr. Rhinehorn is just trying to get some sleep!

This primer compendium is chock-full of lovable characters--from Tina Tusker the County Commissioner to Dottie the Dog Walker and Cheese Louise--living in a busy, spirited world full of landmark early-childhood subjects: first words, colors, numbers, shapes, simple maps, naps, school, and plenty of funny scenarios to keep little ones turning the pages. Interactive and on point for the preschool audience.

Christy Ottaviano Books

Author Notes

Ethan Long is the acclaimed author and illustrator of many books for children, including Hello, World! and Sun and Moon Together , Books 1 and 2 in the Happy County series, as well as the Geisel Award-winning Up , Tall and High! , Tickle the Duck , Frightclub , Valensteins , Fangsgiving, and Chamelia . He is also the creator of the Emmy-nominated animated series Tasty Time with ZeFronk . Ethan lives with his family in Orlando, Florida.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

A giant billboard welcomes readers to Happy County, "the place for fun," at the start of this peppy activity-filled collection by Long (Fangsgiving). Much like Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy Town, Happy County is populated by a cast of cartoon animals with goofy names and a proclivity for getting into trouble while engaging in even the most mundane activities. In one story, "Dottie the Dog Walker," a ladybug smaller than most of her charges collects hounds on a wild walk to the park, and labels note the canines' actions. Another selection stars a mouse, Cheese Louise, in a rhyming presentation of the challenges of cheese-mongering ("The cheese is not here to squeeze!"). Amid Long's engaging stories, interactive interstitials offer prompts to spell short words, sing, and seek and find various objects. With 18 vignettes, there's a lot to take in, but readers will likely follow the invitation for repeated visits on the book's final billboard: "You are now leaving Happy County. Come back soon!" Ages 3--6. (Mar.)

Kirkus Review

Anthropomorphic animals engage in a variety of activities throughout a bustling community.There is a lot going on in Happy County. Eighteen mostly two-page chapters feature residents who are busy working, volunteering, exercising, and relaxing, among other pursuits. Some residents appear on the front endpapers, others are introduced later. In some cases, sequential panels follow a single character, as when Handywoman Hannah carries out a task at the Hyena household in a brief text replete with words that start with H. Other chapters offer a wide view of a specific setting, such as a scene-setting two-page spread and the county fair that serves as the grand finale. Long labels the objects and individuals in many of his characteristic bright, cartoon-style illustrations, enabling young listeners to practice, and probably expand, their vocabularies. He also includes questions and suggestions that encourage interaction. There are opportunities to match words and pictures, identify shapes, colors, and patterns, and practice the alphabet. Humorous storylines, clever wordplay, and occasional rhymes will charm listeners. Multiple appearances of some characters and the booklong chase of an adventurous chick in a visual subplot create continuity, and plentiful visual jokes add to the enjoyment. Gender equity is implied by the inclusion of female-presenting characters in nontraditional jobs, and the species mix amicably.Brimful of fun and sure to inspire many repeat readings. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Long ventures into Scarry territory with elevated, cartoon-style overviews of Happy County ("The Place for Fun!" as its big signboard announces) to meet Cheese Louise, Farmer Del, and aeronautic inventors Wilbur Bright and Orzo Bright ("buddy brothers," the author provocatively puts it, not "real" ones), along with other anthropomorphic animal residents going about their business. In service to a not-very-hidden agenda, most spreads invite viewers to, for instance, sing the alphabet song or count up to 10, match geometric shapes and colors to buildings along village streets, identify a dozen different kinds of birds from a visual key, or enhance their appreciation for language with wordplay from "Do not sneeze near the cheese!" to a more subtle (some would say) "Home is where the Havarti is." Though populous, the art doesn't look crowded, and the author slips in plenty of sound effects, sight gags, and ongoing plotlines to reward sustained looking. Young visitors will indeed be inclined to "Come back soon!" as the billboard on the road out urges.