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Hello? Is Anybody There? by Jostein Gaarder
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Hello? Is Anybody There? (original 1996; edition 1998)

by Jostein Gaarder, Sally Gardner (Illustrator), James Anderson (Translator)

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204357,485 (3.44)5
Member:bucketyell
Title:Hello? Is Anybody There?
Authors:Jostein Gaarder
Other authors:Sally Gardner (Illustrator), James Anderson (Translator)
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (1998), Hardcover, 144 pages
Collections:Read in 2012, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:READ 2012

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Hello? Is Anybody There? by Jostein Gaarder (1996)

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Group I
  gilsbooks | May 17, 2011 |
"An answer is always the stretch of road that's behind you. Only a question can point the way forward."

The story is written in the form of a letter to a child from her uncle, who was the same age as Camilla when his brother was born. The page layout directly recalls that classic, "The Little Prince", and the illustrations even feature the same small planet and very similar-looking characters. Love the illustrations! Although I dearly wished that Gardner didn't draw that rabbit, quite a distraction I tell you.

Eight-year-old Joe is waiting alone at home for the birth of his sibling when he sees something fall from the sky. It's Mika, from the planet Eljo, hanging by the seat of his pants in Joe's apple tree.

During the first meeting, the two explore the thought-provoking concept of when down becomes up and vice versa. This conversation begins a fast friendship for these two creatures from different worlds who discover they have much in common, and Joe teaches Mika all about planet Earth.

What was stressed was the importance of questioning everything, from what's a pancake to religious beliefs, makes this gentle story fun to read as well as eye-opening. They discuss the process of evolution, whether animals can think, how babies are born, the five senses, the existence of God, the structure of time, and the concept of meeting together on a mountaintop when each one lives in a metaphorical valley.

Gaarder shows how explaining what we take for granted to someone who's never experienced it can be exhilarating and fulfilling.

The fact that Mika disappears when Joe's brother is born may be predictable to older readers, but doesn't diminish the magic of the book, nor does the obvious fact that Mika is in truth an alien version of the long-awaited baby brother.

Book Details:

Title Hello? Is Anybody There?
Author Jostein Gaarder
Reviewed By Purplycookie ( )
  purplycookie | Apr 10, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374329486, Hardcover)

"Eight-year-old Joe is waiting alone at home for the birth of his sibling when he sees something fall from the sky. It's Mika, from the planet Eljo, hanging by the seat of his pants in Joe's apple tree. During the first meeting, the two explore the thought-provoking concept of when down becomes up and vice versa...The importance of questioning everything, from what's a pancake to religious beliefs, makes this gentle story fun to read as well as eye-opening."-School Library Journal

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:47 -0400)

While waiting for the birth of his baby brother, Joe is visited by a strange child from another planet, and the two discover that they, and their planets, share many similarities as well as differences.

(summary from another edition)

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