The cast of characters from Hooray for Hat! and Hooray for Today! (2014, 2016) returns, this time cheerfully helping Turtle reunite with his favorite book.
The opening artwork sets up ongoing humor: pale-green Turtle stands, holding his brown turtle shell and tossing out various objects. The text reads: “He searched his entire house—but no book.” After ransacking an enormous pile of toys, sports equipment, and musical instruments, Turtle realizes that he may have lent his book to Zebra. Zebra has already passed the book along to Owl, and Owl to Giraffe. (Both Turtle and Zebra have male pronouns; no other animals are assigned genders in this text.) In between each friendly encounter, “HOORAY FOR BOOKS!” is repeated in large, colorful letters. Each animal offers a different book to Turtle, but he is intent on rereading his favorite. When Turtle finally retrieves his book from the bottom of Lion’s enormous pile, older readers may be disappointed that the laws of physics do not lead to total chaos but to a rather controlled toppling of tomes. In fact, despite some droll humor and the reading-positive message, the text and illustrations probably will have the greatest appeal for children who are not yet reading independently; the simple sentences and repetitions lend themselves well to reading aloud. To a struggling emergent reader, however, this excited celebration of books may feel more like coercion than encouragement.
Fun—but less imaginative than some other bibliophilic picks. (Picture book. 3-6)