Hey, Al

Written by Arthur Yorinks
Illustrated by Richard Egielski

Reviewed by Ajay B. (age 9) and Nicole C. (age 8)

This book is about a janitor named Al and his dog Eddie. "No, life wasn't easy for Al and Eddie." One day a big bird came to Al's bathroom window and said "Are you working too hard? Still struggling and going nowhere?" "Have I got a place for you. No worries, no cares - it's terrific." So that night Al and Eddie had a big conversation about everything. At dawn they were both waiting at the bathroom window for the large bird. The large bird appeared and Al and Eddie were "ferried thousands of feet upward to an island in the sky." When they got there, the birds brought them fruit. They were so relaxed that their memories slowly disappeared. One morning Al and Eddie woke up and found out that they were turning into birds! Al and Eddie flew out of the island in the sky. "I'd rather mop floors," Al howled. They had to fly over a big sea. Eddie was so tired that he fell into the sea. Well, you'll have to read the rest of the book to find out what happened to Eddie. The moral of the story is that you should appreciate what you have.

Nicole likes this book because she likes fantasies. She likes the colors in the illustrations because they look fun. She likes the part when they turn into birds because it's like a fairy tale. She also likes this book because it's very funny like when Eddie mutters. Ajay likes this book because it reminds him of an adventure and he likes adventures. He likes the illustrations because they are really good and cartoonish. Eddie reminds him of his dog Geo because Eddie and Geo are both friendly. Eddie reminds Nicole of her dog, Charlie, because both dogs act like the kings of the family. This book makes Ajay wonder where birds are going when they are flying in the sky. We both like this book because we both love the characters. They are funny and they act like real people struggling with their lives. We also like this book because it's so... well, it's just so exiting.

We recommend this book to people who are 6-9 years old. We also recommend this book to people who like fantasies and birds. We recommend this book to people who like books that have won Caldecott medals.

Ajay B. and Nicole C. are students in Class C121
2002-2003