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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Hello? Is Anybody There?
by Jostein Gaarder
Age Range: 6-8
In the hours before his brother is born, eight-year-old Joe discovers an unusual
visitor in his garden. Mika is from Eljo – where children hatch out of eggs and life
in general is quite different from what Joe knows – and has fallen out of a
spaceship, landing upside down in an apple tree. Mika and Joe become instant
friends and spend the day discussing everything from dinosaurs and gravity to
the origins of life on Earth and the wonders of the universe. Thought-provoking
questions are framed within the illustrations such as “What would you say if you
had a visit from outer space?” or “Can animals think?” The next morning Mika
is gone, but Joe has a new-found appreciation for the wonders of the universe
and a baby brother! The parallel between Mika and the new baby being born
is a consistent theme throughout the story and it challenges young readers to
look at the world afresh.
Tender and enchanting, this book confirms Jostein Gaarder as an exceptional writer for children and Sally Gardner’s whimsical line drawings complement the delightful story perfectly. Ideal for reading aloud to children or for independent reading.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)