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Description - Hello? Is Anybody There? by Jostein Gaarder

In the hours before his brother is born, eight year old Joe has an unusual visitor, Mika, who falls out of a spaceship and lands upside down in an apple tree in Joe's garden. Hens, dinosaurs, an astronaut and a white rabbit all play their part in this magical story in which the encounter between Earth-boy and alien opens up the wonders of the universe. Tender and enchanting as The Little Prince and with the same classic quality, HELLO? IS ANYBODY THERE? confirms Jostein Gaarder as an exceptional writer for children. Sally Gardner's lively pencil drawings on almost every page make this a delightful package.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781858816234
ISBN-10: 1858816238
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 12mm)
Pages: 144
Imprint: Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Publish Date: 3-Aug-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Hello? Is Anybody There? by Jostein Gaarder

Book Reviews - Hello? Is Anybody There? by Jostein Gaarder

UK Kirkus Review » Who is God? How did the world begin? What is the meaning of life? Daunting questions for most adults, let alone the children. Yet in Hello? is Aanybody There? Gaarder repeats the resounding success of Sophi's World and presents complex philosophical ideas in such an entertaining way, that children will want to read and re-read this book. Joe is at home by himself; his parents have dashed off to hospital to await the arrival of a new baby, and his Auntie Helen is on her way to look after him. As he sits alone, looking out into the night sky, Mika suddenly erupts into his life, falling out of his space ship and landing in an apple-tree in Joe's garden. The two explore the similarities between them, and despite radical differences in their lifestyles and backgrounds, discover just how much they have in common. Joe is fascinated by science and natural history, and Mika questions him constantly about the beginnings of life on earth. On Mika's planet, questions are considered far more important than answers, and many of Mika's questions turn Joe's established ideas about life on their head. Hello? Is Anybody There? is not only a child-friendly discussion of abstract ideas: Gaarder has also written a tender, funny story about two children enjoying the things all children do - making a mess, hiding from the adults, breaking the rules and just delighting in each other's company. Their exuberance is beautifully captured by Gardner's delicate line drawings which are woven into the fabric of the text rather then standing in isolation. Mika's disappearance marks not the end for Joe, but the beginning of a new relationship, as his baby brother arrives in the world; a new person as full of the wonder of life as Mika was. Review by MOLLY POTTS (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » More than a little reminiscent of The Little Prince, with a touch of Louis Slobodkin's classic Space Ship Under the Apple Tree, this is a dialogue between a visitor from space and an eight-year-old boy waiting at home while his mother is in the hospital giving birth; it links informal ink drawings with a series of ingenuous philosophical ruminations and explanations of natural processes. Joe is alone when a flash of light leaves Mika, a diminutive Mumbo from planet Eljo, hanging by his heels in the apple tree. Very like a toddler in appearance, clothing (pajamas), and habit of sucking his thumb when thinking, Mika views the world with wide-eyed wonder, asking deceptively simple questions ("If [a cat] can't talk, does that mean it can't think?"), learning from Joe about dinosaurs, fish, and the history of life on Earth, teaching him that nothing is "ordinary," and that there are great forces at work in the universe. The illustrator places small human, alien, and animal figures on the surfaces of tiny worlds, or within and around lines of text; Mika and Joe sit cozily together on rock and rooftop, until Mika is replaced at the end by Michael, Joe's new brother. Gaarder (Sophie's World, 1994) keeps the tone light, but brings up plenty of worthwhile, often knotty ideas. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jostein Gaarder

Jostein Gaarder is the author of SOPHIE'S WORLD, a huge bestseller in over 40 countries. He was born in Oslo in 1952 and lives there now with his wife and two sons.

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