Greenwillow Books (now Viking), 1978
Sometimes, without warning, you can look up and see someone or something you love with all your heart. That’s what happens to Louie at the puppet show put on by Susie and Roberto for the neighborhood kids. Everyone is there, hushed and excited as Roberto’s mouse puppet introduces Susie’s puppet, Gussie. That’s when Louie opens his heart to Gussie with a big “Hello!” and a smile. It’s the first time Roberto and Susie have heard him speak, but they recognize love when they see it.
Take a Closer Look
Louie is introduced as a silent and lonely child, with sad eyes and an invisible mouth. He suddenly comes to life at a puppet show put on by Susie and Roberto, when he jumps up and shouts “Hello!” to the puppet Gussie. It’s the first word any of the kids have heard Louie speak. He goes home alone and dreams about being left out and made fun of by the other kids. The heroes of the story turn out to be Susie and Roberto. They recognize Louie’s need for friendship, and what they do provides a surprising and joyful ending.