Sometimes all it takes to enchant a little person from sunup to sundown are family members with smiling faces, sing-song language, and anything enhanced with plenty of bold, primary colors. Caroline Uff's latest book, Hello, Lulu!, is designed with this in mind.
Uff's presentation is so engaging that toddlers just beginning to associate words with people and objects will be able to grasp and repeat Lulu's simple story. The book's brightly illustrated pages and almost life-size faces of Lulu, her family, friends, toys, and pets are accompanied by simple sentences that identify each drawing by plainly stating this is or Lulu likes . Even the name Lulu is easy and fun to pronounce for a small child, and once he or she catches on to who Lulu is, the proceeding pages introduce similarly pronounceable objects and people, like Lulu's new bright red shoes, or her cupcake-bearing grandma.
Toddlers will recognize most of Lulu's objects of affection, for Uff has drawn them in rich, bright pastels: A powder blue bunny makes a snuffle, snuffle sound; a fat goldfish goes blub, blub ; the seafoam-green bubbles Lulu blows with her friend go pop! . Bright backgrounds frame the round dot-eyed faces; teddy bears and different snacks are sometimes framed in regimented blocks, and other times in page-spanning solids or patterns of playful colors and textures.
In addition to its brightness and bouncy words, Hello, Lulu shows the uncomplicated harmony and security of a child in the presence of her family and friends sharing and smiling. With so much bold color and illustrated associations to good things, Hello, Lulu lets the child's eyes and feelings make special connections to the 21 pages between its covers.