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Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers' Favorite
Just Say Hello by Rebecca Porter is a children's picture book about accepting our differences and the importance of friendship. Deep in the hills, a group of elves is stunned when one of the twin babies, born in their small community, laughs at birth. They get another shock when they discover the baby does not look like an elf. The male twin looks like all the other elves with straight hair, pointy ears, and blue eyes and is named Kameron, but Kiara, the girl, is born with curly hair, round ears, and green eyes. Because she is different, Kiara segregates from the other elves and grows lonely and sad. Kameron becomes concerned when he notices that his sister acts differently and is always alone. After receiving wise words from their mother, Kameron realizes what Kiara has been lacking all along is a friend.
Just Say Hello is an enlightening and inspiring story for children but it also has a powerful message for adults. Rebecca Porter uses themes of love and unity to deliver a tale of acceptance and friendship. The story not only educates children about friendship but also has a vital lesson for parents with Kiara's parents loving both their children equally. I think this is important to remember because some parents neglect their children when they discover they are different. Rather, parents need to accept and embrace their children's differences instead of them being made to feel bad about themselves. Kids like to imitate what adults do and this book reminds us to teach our children to be inclusive and considerate of others. I loved the beautiful illustrations, cute characters, and how each season had a colorful theme with the pictures perfectly capturing the gradual increase of joy on Kiara's face. Brilliant work.