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Hey, Al

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  3,735 ratings  ·  297 reviews
Al, a janitor, and his faithful dog, Eddie, live in a single room on the West Side. They eat together, they work together, they do everything together. So what's the problem?
Thier room is crowded and cramped; their life is an endless struggle. Al and Eddie are practically at eachothers throats when a large and mysterious bird offers them a new life in paradise. After some
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published May 1st 1989 by Perfection Learning (first published November 1st 1986)
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After reading many Caldecott Medal award winning books, I stumbled upon this rare gem called “Hey, Al” which won a Caldecott Medal and was written by Arthur Yorinks along with illustrations by Richard Egielski. Get prepared for one surreal yet adventurous journey!

Meet Al, the janitor and his faithful dog, Eddie. They live in a single room on the West Side and they do everything together. So, every thing is fine, right?


Al and Eddie’s life is miserable as they live in a small and cramped ap
Al the janitor doesn't mind working hard all day, even though he hardly makes enough to pay for a tiny studio and keep food in his and his dog's mouths. But Eddie, the little dog, wishes for space to run around. When a giant toucan pokes his head in the bathroom window one day and offers to take them on a tropical vacation, it seems like a wonderful opportunity. But as the two buddies lounge around in paradise, they find themselves turning into birds! Can they escape?

And this is where the story
Lisa Vegan
Apr 16, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
I adore Eddie, the dog in this book, especially the illustrations of the dog!!! I love all the illustrations. The birds are amazing, Almost every page is amazing. My favorite two page illustration is probably the one where Al is lying in a small waterfall and Eddie is on shore chasing butterflies.

The story is funny and cute and I really liked it, although had I not known it was a children’s picture book for young kids, I would have experienced a couple of pages worth of terror at one point in th
This book seemed like a rather random story to be telling to kids, I thought it had a nice message, but was a little too weird to correctly get its point across. The illustrations were pretty nice, but I found one illustration especially disturbing, and that picture was of the dodo bird having hands underneath it's feathers, that was just a tad bit too odd. This book wrapped up its point rather quickly and had some weird elements, so I don't think I'd recommend it.

*Taken from my book reviews blo
**** Caldecott Medal (1987) ****

A janitor and his dog escape the confines of their shabby and tiny room to visit a tropical world inhabited by magical birds, only to discover that paradise has a price.
Keani Meier
Hey, AL By Arthur Yorinks
The art working this book is very creative, and realistically drawn. With sold lines and colors. The birds in the book are highly detailed and exaggerated while the dog was not.
Al a Janitor living in the big city. Al works so hard and struggling to reach end meat for him and his dog. One day a large bird came in to AL bathroom and ask him if he wants to go the a new land. The next day he took AL to a new land. The Land of Birds and AL had a Vacation. He and his dog want
Adrienne Morgan
Richard Egielski uses a cartoon-like detail to enhance the bright, full colors in the book. The pictures bring out a life-like feel to the imaginary story. This book is definitely an entertaining story. The pictures are colorful and very detailed. I think Hey, Al is very easy to understand that what you have is usually better than what you lust for. This book is a great reality check for us, giving a serious message in a kid's book. The story follows the general theme of many children's stories ...more
After only reading the first few pages, I already in love with this book! The images showed all types of emotion to bring the story to life. It is kind of tough to make humans into birds in my head, but the illustrations gave me the perfect image of it and shocked me too! This story is about Al’s life. He is a janitor and lives with his dog in a small room. They were invited by a bird to go live a better life so they took the opportunity. At first they loved their new life in the tropical nature ...more
Alex Roth
This story is about a man named Al who is picked up randomly one day by a colorful bird that takes him to a new place. The bird takes Al to a tropical area that is more lively and colorful than his boring dull life at home. Once Al stays for too long he runs into some trouble and returns home where he knows he must make brighter changes in his life. The illustration in this book is very detailed in the scenery. When it shows Al’s house, the shelves are filled with numerous items and the home sho ...more
Jordan Traylor
This story is about a janitor, Al, and his best friend who is his dog, Eddie. Al had a very hard life, until one day a bird came to him and told him that he had a solution for Al’s problems. They decided to go with the bird and discovered that they were in a paradise of birds. They were taken to an island in the sky where all of their problems seemed to disappear. Everything was great until Al and Eddie began to resemble birds. They wished that they could go home, and Al decided that they could ...more
This book won the Caldecott medal for illustrations back in 1987 and is the story of a janitor that lives a dreary and boring life with his dog and friend, Eddie. When a colorful bird enters their life, they find out that there is no place like home.

Text in a story, unless it is a wordless picture book, are what drives the story forward. In Hey, Al the text is an interesting factor of the story. Going through it, the sentences are short, more clipped, and fragmented.Flipping through the book, y
This book is about a man of lower lifestyle, Al, and his dog Eddie. Eddie gets fed up with their low and boring life. One day, a huge bird visits them and invites the two to go to a new, exciting place. They accept, and get flown off to an island in the sky. It seems like paradise to them both, but soon after they realize that they are turning into birds! Al and Eddie fly back to their home and decide that they actually live in a paradise, they just did not realize it until they had left.

The il
Hey al shows us the life of a hardworking janitor and his best friend Eddie,his dog right beside him. Eddie the dog wasn't happy with how much they worked and the apartment was always a mess and they were going nowhere. Eddie and Al were soon greeted by a strange large bird that told them to quit their job they are working too hard and its time he shows them his home. The next day the bird came back and they went to a tropical beautiful island full of exotic fruits and was complete ecstasy. Soon ...more
Paige Cook
Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks and Richard Egielski is about a janitor named Al and his best dog friend named Eddie. Eddie and Al did everything together! They loved each other’s company. The only problem was there wasn’t enough space for the two of them and Eddie wanted to run around. The place was a dump and the two were constantly struggling. One day a giant bird swooped in and picked them up. Before they knew it they were enjoying life in paradise. But as you will see, soon it wasn’t so joyful an ...more
Al is a janitor who live in a single room with his loyal companion, Eddie the dog. One day Eddie starts moaning about how he wants to live in a house with a backyard he can around in. Al chimes in saying that Eddie will start asking for the moon pretty soon. Then everything changes when a large bird enters through Al’s bathroom window and asks Al if he is working too hard? Doesn’t Al need a break? The large bird leaves after promising to return the next day to retrieve both Al and Eddie. Al is u ...more
Rosa Cline
This is a Caldecott Award Winning book...

Out of the few Caldecott books I've read to my granddaughter and my special needs sons this one I simply did not care for at all. I think the underlining thought behind the story is nice but the author just simply didn't do well at writing it especially with it being a children's book... wow...

The guy and his dog is bored with their lives. They do the same thing everyday and then go home to a really run down home. but a bird comes and tells them to go wi
Margo Martin
In the book Hey Al, Al lives in a one room place with his very faithful dog; they live together, eat together and sleep together although, Al’s dog cannot stand living in such a small space. Al defensively declines the idea of moving saying until one day when he is standing in his room when a bird begins talking to him. The bird says he is working too hard and he needs to come with him tomorrow, and he will show Al how he really should be living. The next day, the bird appears and brings them to ...more
Ashley R.
This book was about a man, Al, and his dog, Eddie. They lived everyday just struggling by in life. Al worked hard, but there was always some type of problem and neither him or Eddie really appreciated the important things they had in life, like each other. One day a bird called to Al and convinced him and Eddie to fly away with him to a paradise-like island in the sky. After some time the two noticed that they were turning into birds and they left the island immediately. Eddie fell into the sea ...more
David Korsak
This book is about a janitor named Al and he lives on the West side Al most best friend in the world his is dog named Edie. Life was not easy for Al and Eddie. They were always struggling. One morning a bird called to Al and told him he had a solution for all of his problems. Al and Eddie packed their bags and were ready to take off on an adventure with the bird. The bird took Al to a beautiful island with so many beautiful things to see with other birds. Just when Al and Eddie thought they had ...more
Mackenzie Cannon
This book introduces Al, a janitor, and his dog who live together in a small apartment. The story takes readers on an adventure through Al's life and the different problems he faces living in such a small place with his best friend. These illustrations do a great job of keeping the story line and making sure the readers can tell the story even if there was no text present. The colors in the book portray the feelings and emotions that the characters are feeling. For example, when the character is ...more
Grace Bradley
Al was a janitor who lived with his dog. Him and his dog did everything together! Al was a good, nice man. Al’s dog Eddie, always wanted to move to a house with a big backyard that he could run around in. Al was always working hard, but never moving his life along in the direction that it should go. One morning while shaving, a big bird startled him and came through his window and told him he had something special in store for him that would be a great change for him and Eddie. The bird took Al ...more
Hey, Al is a very detail oriented book that does a beautiful job portraying specially crafted and creative illustrations. I think the story line really pays homage to breaking the mold of the everyday routine that many people are accustomed to living. I really enjoyed the facial emotions that were illustrated on Al’s character because it was easy to tell how he was feeling despite the narrators commentary of the situation. I loved the relationship that he created with Eddy and all of the animals ...more
Melody Wolen
Reading Level: 4th grade
Hey, Al contains many colorful illustrations that tell the story of Al and his dog Eddie. They are both, but mostly Eddie; dissatisfied with the life they lead. Al is a janitor and they have a small apartment. One day a huge bird comes to the bathroom window and invites them on a journey. Eddie and Al eagerly go with the bird the next day to an island that seems like paradise. Soon however, they realize they are turning into birds and that they need to escape. So, they tr
What the heck is up with this book? The author/ illustrator has created other children's books but this one has the feel of an unsuccessful first try. How did this win a Caldecott?!? From the first page, when I couldn't tell if Eddie was the person or the dog, I suspected something was missing from this book. You could feel what they meant to say but the author left a lot for the reader to fill in. A random large bird appears in his window? Where did he come from and how did he find Al? They esc ...more
"Hey, Al" by Arthur Yorinks is a story about a man, Al, and his dog, Eddie. Eddie feels that him and Al need to get out and make something of their lives. One day a big bird takes Al and Eddie to a mysterious island. Al and Eddie think that the island is wonderful and will live there forever. But soon after living on the island they start to turn into birds. Al and Eddie need to decide if they want to continue to live on the island or is they want to return to their plain lives.

This story helps
Alexis White
Al appears to be an older man, whose a hard working janitor. Al has a dog named Eddie. Eddie and Al are best friends and do everything together in their tiny one room in the West Side of New York. The house is so small that they start to get sick and tired of each other. That is until a mysterious bird comes flying into their window and offers to change their lives. They get taken to a place that seems like paradise, but there is no place like home.

Yorinks wrote a story that is very relatable.
Sandra Ayala
Another book I choose to read was Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks. The story is about a janitor and his best friend Eddie, who happens to be a dog. The book explains that Al works hard and is still unsatisfied with what he has. As he is wishing about being better off a bird takes him to a magical place of relaxation. However, the longer that Al and Eddie stay at the place they start turning into birds. This frightens them and causes them to go back home. Back at home they appreciate more what they hav ...more
Cari Williams
I liked Hey, Al because it tells a story of a guy and his pet companion as they find their way to appreciating where they are instead of wishing they could be somewhere else. I think Hey, Al teaches a valuable lesson in a way that you cannot always choose your circumstances but you can make the best of them because not everything is as bad as it seems. Al and his dog Eddie find that out the hard way by going to a magical place where they have everything they could ever want, but it came with a p ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
A bizarre story with a moral to be happy with what you have. The illustrations are amazing, as you would expect for a Caldecott Medal winner, and the story is a good one, if a bit odd. We've read this one a few times and we've enjoyed reading it together.
Matthew West
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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