Happy World Hello Day!

Hey there Cutie Pie, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to greet ten people today.

That’s right! Just ten people in the name of peace, to show world leaders the power and importance of personal communication rather than force to settle conflicts. Since 1973, 180+ countries have been participating — people taking a moment to say hello in dozens of different languages — on the street, in the office, at schools, in cities, farms, stores, on buses, boats, trains, subways, even in fields of waving grain, and oh yes!, in restaurants! Anyone can participate, anywhere.


Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name . . .

I know you can do it! With your winning smile, flexible eyebrows and unending charm — go ahead and surprise ten lucky strangers with this small act of kindness and see what happens! These days it’s kinda shocking when people actually take the time to make eye contact, crack a smile, or basically acknowledge that there’s another human being breathing thinking standing right beside them. Sad but true. And we’re all guilty of it. (ahem) Love our devices much?


Just in case you need a little more inspiration, be sure to check out Matthew Cordell’s faboo new picture book, hello! hello! (Disney-Hyperion, 2012). What happens when a little girl leaves her electronic devices behind and meets the big, wide world of fresh air, leaves, flowers, bugs, and her boundless imagination? This beautifully executed story celebrates the singular joy and yes, importance, of genuine-for-real-in-person human contact and connection. It reminds us to look up, be in the moment, and get out in the real world more instead of being ‘alone together’ as our devices dictate.

You had me at hello . . .


For far more elegantly stated thoughts and observations about hello! hello!, check out Margie Culver’s review at Librarian’s Quest, Jules Danielson’s interview with Matthew at 7-Imp, and Matthew’s interview with Mr. Schu at Watch. Connect. Read. The book has already received two *starred reviews* from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, was recommended by the LA Times, and lauded by David Small in the NY Times. Yay!

And don’t miss Matthew’s very generous promotional offer of free art (!!). Depending on how many copies of hello! hello! you purchase, you can get cool signed bookplates, postcards, a signed proof or even a watercolor print! Offer ends November 30, 2012.



Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

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The power of HELLO begins with those you know and love, extends to those you encounter in your daily orbit, and can ripple and widen to include multitudes.



Touch humanity.

Say hello for peace.

“Hello” in 30 different languages:

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You say goodbye and I say hello . . .

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♥ Visit ReadWriteThink for World Hello Day classroom activities.


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

28 thoughts on “hello!

  1. This might have been a challenge in N. CA where i lived, but I’ve noticed that everyone here in Coastal CT is friendly and I probably DO say hello to 10 people I don’t know on a regular basis since moving here. 😉 hello!


  2. What a beautiful book and a wonderful sentiment. I walk every day and stop to talk with those I know and those I don’t. I’ve never met a person who minds talking with a complete stranger. In fact, they seem to enjoy it as much as I do.


    1. That’s so nice to hear, Kathleen. I’ve found the same — just smiling sometimes can make such a difference. You see people’s faces light up, and if you ask how they are doing, they appreciate it. 🙂 HELLO!


  3. I think this might not be such a challenge for me today as it is Grandpeople’s Day at our school, so I will be saying hello to numerous strangers since I’m on the ‘welcoming’ committee. I usually do try to make eye contact & give a smile when I’m out. It’s a wonderful book I’ve heard reviewed, Jama. Must get my hands on it, too! Thanks for all the friendly words today! In this time for all parts of the world, I am hoping for peaceful words that reach.


    1. Grandpeople’s Day — perfect! I’m the same way — I make a conscious effort to at least smile at other people. Everyone just wants to be acknowledged in some way :). HELLO, Linda!!


    1. It’s a fabulous idea, Kelly. Interesting how reluctant some people are to extend this simple kindness for whatever reason. We have to re-train ourselves somehow. 🙂 HELLO!


  4. HELLO, HELLO!! This looks like a real charmer. And, in the spirit of the season, let me give thanks for you, your blog, and all the tasty books, treats, and, oh yes, handsome faces you serve up here. Happy Thanksgiving, Jama!


  5. You have just said HELLO to a hundred thousand people through this post – and it shall echo (echo.. echo.. echo..) through the worldwideweb for a thousandthousandthousand years forward (and backward .. and sideways too!) across the wired ages. 🙂


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