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*Little Hoot* by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace
Also by Amy Krouse Rosenthal:

Uni the Unicorn


Bedtime for Mommy

Little Oink

Little Pea

Also illustrated by Jen Corace:

Little Oink

Little Pea
Little Hoot
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace
Ages 3-7 36 pages Chronicle December 2007 Hardcover    

Little Hoot is a delightful, smallish picture book. It isn’t as big, or as flashy, as a lot of the books aimed at little ones these days. Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace keep it simple, ideal for small hands.

The littlest owl in this family is different from his brothers and sisters. Little owls are supposed to stay up all night, playing and exercising and being silly. But Little Hoot just wants to be like his friends - to go to bed at a reasonable, normal hour.

All the young rabbits, bears and little foxes get to go to bed in the early evening. He gets sleepy when his friends do, not when his family thinks he should. Little Hoot is most definitely not a night owl.

His parents spend the night distracting him from the sleepies and laying down the law. Papa Owl tells him that he must stay up all night to grow up to be wise - Papa Owl also doesn’t care what Little Hoot’s friends all get to do! Mama Owl compromises into the wee hours of Little Hoot’s night: “Stay up and play for one more hour and then you can go to bed.” As Little Hoot walks slowly away, he thinks to himself, “When I grow up, I’m going to let my kids go to bed as early as they want.”

Still, Little Hoot is a good boy. He practices his staring and thinking hard. He plays with his toys and jumps in the leaves outside. He scowls and grumps and fusses a little, but he plays hard all through the night like a good little owl.

Homey, cheerful, colorful pictures enhance the joy in reading about Little Hoot’s day, and night. There are lots of tiny, hidden things for little eyes to find - a rabbit hidden in the trees during a game of hide-and-seek, a friend falling out of his desk at school. There are special details like textures on a blanket or ruffles on Mama Owl’s dress.

The crazy twist on the bedtime blues that creep into every child’s home will make for big grins and goofy grimaces. The classic phrases every one of us has heard - like following the rules of this house, and the “when I grow up…” plans - resonate in even the youngest minds. When Little Hoot’s Mama and Papa try to stall him with a glass of water, giggles will erupt - promise!

This is a good transitional book for bedtime stories, from board books to big kid picture books. It isn’t too long but offers a little more of an interactive storyline with conversational illustrations.

Little Hoot is wonderful for the kids who have trouble going to bed on time, and might be even better for the ones who like going to bed early. It is an endearing, happy story about a little one who is loved by his family. And that is a happy note to go to bed on, for any little one.

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  Carolynn Evans/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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