A charming animal tale about perseverance that has the feel of a children’s classic.




A baby owl struggles to learn how to hoot in this debut picture book.

At the end of a trail deep in the woods, a nest holds three perfect eggs presided over by a mother owl. She decides to name the owlet who hatches first Benjamin. (Thomas and Martin are hatched the next day.) Although Benjamin is the fastest, highest flier, and best hunter of any owl his age, he’s got a problem: He can’t hoot. When he tries, he reproduces other animal sounds he’s heard. His father is strict but encouraging: “ ‘No son of mine will be flying around the forest meowing like a kitty cat or singing like a chickadee,’ said Father Owl. ‘Keep trying, son. You can do it! I believe in you.’ ” Benjamin’s first efforts at proper hooting are hilariously mixed: “Cock-a-doodle-hoo! Hoot-a-dee-dee-dee!” But Benjamin keeps striving, and before long he’s hooting as an owl should. In her book, Becki Walsh offers a perfect read-aloud story. The repetition is very effective in building expectations and suspense for young readers, and the text supplies many opportunities for kids to join in on the animal sounds, which are bolstered by effective typography (the creatures’ vocalizations are in one font; Benjamin’s imitations are in another). Debut illustrator Madeleine Riley Walsh delivers attractive images with soft colors and precise linework. They deftly capture the animals, giving them expressive countenances that fit the narrative—for example, the cat’s inquisitive glance and Benjamin’s huge, staring, perplexed round eyes.

A charming animal tale about perseverance that has the feel of a children’s classic.

Pub Date: Nov. 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5255-1279-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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