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Hey, Al

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  4,242 ratings  ·  339 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
Madison Niksich
Yorinks, A., Egielski, R., & Farrar, S. (1986). Hey, Al. New York, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Al lives a boring life with his dog Eddie. One day a bird came and told them that soon he will be able to experience a world like no other. He is whisked away the next day to a land with beautiful animals and scenery. But it wasn’t all what it was talked up to be. Al and Eddie grow wings and turn into very unique characters. Al is sent into a whirlwind and eventually is sent back home witho
Amara Reitz
Hey, Al is cute story about a humble janitor and his trusty dog, Eddie. Al and Eddie live in a small one room apartment which is proving to be a little too small for the both of them. One day, Al is visited by a large bird that invites him and Eddie to join him on his island in the sky. Al and Eddie packed up and eagerly awaited the birds return. The next day, the bird took Al and Eddie to his island and showed them around. It was nothing like Al or Eddie had ever seen! Birds of many shapes and ...more
Alicia Rotter
Hey, Al is A Caldecott Medal winning picture written by Arthur Yorinks. Al is a quiet Janitor who lives with his talking dog, Eddie in a messy one-bedroom apartment. One day, a large bird pitched an idea to Al and Eddie to leave their messy lifestyle and take an adventure to a beautiful land. However, this paradise does not turn out like it seemed it would and Al and Eddie are forced to escape. The book is wonderfully illustrated with earthy tones throughout the whole book. The illustrators use ...more
Helen Rena
Would You Rather Be a Dog or a Bird? Hey, Al is one of the weirdest kid books I’ve ever read. The plot goes as follows: a man named Al lives in NYC with his trusty dog Eddie. Al works as a janitor, but is not happy because being a janitor is a difficult, underpaid, and cheerless job. So when a gigantic bird flies into his window and offers to carry him to a paradise island, Al grabs Eddie, and off they go to sunny beaches, loads of tropical fruit, and incessant parades of colorful birds. Yes, th ...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
Samantha Fate
This book is a cute story showing how maybe your life is not perfect, you can change things but you will miss the life you have if you leave it. In the story Al and his dog Eddie agree that their lives are no good. Then they have the opportunity to go to a paradise where there are many birds. They enjoy themselves but when they wake up in the morning they are becoming birds. They realized that by them leaving their lives and coming to this paradise came at a cost and if they chose to stay there ...more
Kenna Hall
Hey, Al was a book that was chosen for the Caldecott Winner. I enjoyed this book very much for several reasons. I thought the storyline was interesting and I feel like several people could relate to not being satisfied with what they may have. Especially in this time where technology and online shopping is so prominent in society. I also thought having a dog be one of the main characters was important to engage younger readers because many either have a dog or have wanted one. Hey, Al had lots o ...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
Cheyenne Cortesi
This story is about a janitor named Al and his dog Teddy. They work all day long and come back to a very small room, soon it becomes too much for Teddy to handle so he tells Al to get a house. But obviously, Al cannot afford that. The next day, a bird invites Al and Teddy to a place where they would never have to work. Al was too scared to leave his job, but Teddy convinced him to go. The bird took them to paradise, where no one worked and birds were abundant. They were there for so long that t ...more
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“Paradise Lost is sometimes Heaven found.” 3 likes
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