Hey You!


When Dapo Adeola was asked ‘When was the first time you felt empowered as a Black Person- that you deeply believed you could live your dreams?’ it inspired him to create Hey You! The award-winning illustrator of Look Up! and Look Up! is determined that young black people realise their potential.

Thereafter, he reminds them of their legacy, the trailblazers who have gone before them in areas from politics, sport, entertainment and the art. Furthermore, he reminds us that ‘every skin colour has its own unique beauty’. It is not a definition in itself. Instead, he urges, be curious, ‘dream your own dreams’ and stand up against those who try to silence.

Alongside this stirring prose, Dapo Adeola’s words are illustrated by eighteen talented professional black illustrators from the United Kingdom, the United States and Africa.

Hey You! is an outstanding picture book. Its intent is almost palpable and meaning resounding. Bookwagon recommends this title for home and school, bedtime and assemblies.

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Hey You!

An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black

Written by Dapo Adeola, with a collaboration of illustrators, including Diane Ewen, Onyinye Iwu…

(Penguin Random House)

 ‘When was the first time you felt empowered as a Black Person- that you deeply believed you could live your dreams?’ This question to Dapo Adeola inspired Hey You!  It is dedicated to encouraging and empowering all black children. It is a call to ‘the hopes and dreams and the things of life that must  be remembered’
Thereafter, this child is loved always with ‘a love that started’ long before their birth. What’s more that love means they are ‘wonderful‘, full of wonder, beyond any definition. Furthermore, ‘every skin colour has its own unique beauty’. Yet this child’s ‘magical melanin‘ means they are Standing On Her Shoulders; or the shoulders of ‘geniuses, creators, leaders and great thinkers’.
They are acknowledgements that it’s the qualities in you that count’ rather than the definition of others. They can be anything they want to be. Alongside this affirmation is the determination that this child is curious, free and lets their ‘imagination loose’ that it might ‘fly wherever you want it to go’.

This is a powerful picture book. It seems laden with intention, memory and determination. Furthermore, Dapo Adeola’s words stir like Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb, offering meaningful substance. It is as though every page is imbued by each  illustrator’s purpose.

Readers are made aware differences, discrimination and difficulties and determine the progress of this child. What’s more we are reminded of the many different people we meet across our lifetime, the friendships we will make and love we will share. Bookwagon is awed and moved and inspired by Hey You! We suggest this picture book should be shared in assemblies and classrooms, in homes and bedtime.



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