Well, here’s an out-of-the-ordinary Caldecott-winning picture book! When an exotic bird visits his home, a lonely janitor is eager to escape the daily grind of life in Hey, Al by Arthur Yorinks (published 1986). But when paradise begins to be less than heaven-like, Al begins to miss his regular life.
The illustrations are attractive caricatures of a window of life and a window to a hoped-for heaven, which ends up going wrong. I really enjoyed reading Hey, Al. In the cold, cold days of winter before us, we may hope for an escape from normality. In Al’s case, adventure away led to a greater appreciation for the daily grind.