This deceptively simple picture book depicts the creation of a new friendship using only one or two words per page and illustrated with two expressively drawn characters. An exuberant boy greets a seemingly shy, somewhat downcast boy as they walk down the street. The greeting of Yo! is met with surprise by the boy who seems not to be able to believe that someone is actually talking to him. But as the story unfolds so does a wonderful friendship. The simplicity of this story have made it one I can share with preschoolers, but the depth of what is going on make it also a good discussion starter for older kids.
The book can also be used to foster race relations as one of the characters is African-American and the other is white. The racial message, while central, does not overshadow the deeper message of the story of the power of reaching out to make a new friend. This makes the story useful for many contexts and ages.
This book won a Caldecott Honor for its illustrations.