Next book


A charming picture book for the very young, whether or not they are fussy about clothes.

A little owl struggles with accessory problems.

Little Owl lives with his Mommy in a tree house on the edge of the city park. He loves all the things little owls usually love: doing arithmetic, eating ice cream and riding a scooter. There is one flaw in this idyllic scenario: He does not love his new scarf. It is too long, too orange and too itchy. His mother insists that he wear it. He does his best to surreptitiously “lose” the scarf, by using it as a ribbon for a present for Grandpa and by putting it in a suitcase bound for Peru, but Mommy always seems to find it. Until one day…Little Owl returns from a trip to the zoo, minus the hated scarf. This piece of bad luck turns out to be an opportunity for a bit of mother-child bonding. This time, Mommy lets her son choose the yarn for a new scarf, a tasteful blue, and Little Owl is much happier. The new scarf is soft, the right length and not orange. The mystery of where the orange scarf went is revealed in the last picture, sure to elicit chuckles. Feeney’s naïve pencil-and-duotone illustrations, which use printmaking techniques to add interesting textures, complement the simple narrative and gentle message; both pacing and subtle adjustments to Little Owl’s expression add humor.

A charming picture book for the very young, whether or not they are fussy about clothes. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 11, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-449-81411-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Next book


A funny tale about stress and an ever upping ante, with a comforting end.

Something is preventing Owl from falling asleep.

Owl leans back against his white pillow and headboard. “Squeek!” says something underneath the bed. Owl’s never heard that sound before, so he fastens his pink bathrobe and answers the front door. Nobody. It must be the wind; back to bed. Bidding himself goodnight, he climbs into bed—and hears the noise again. Time after time, he pops out of bed seeking the squeaker. Is it in the cupboard? He empties the shelves. Under the floor? He pulls up his floorboards. As Owl’s actions ratchet up—he destroys the roof and smashes the walls, all in search of the squeak—so does his anxiety. Not until he hunkers down in bed under the night sky (his bed is now outdoors, because the house’s roof and walls are gone), frantically clutching his pillow, does he see what readers have seen all along: a small, gray mouse. In simple illustrations with black outlines, textured coloring, and foreshortened perspective, Pizzoli plays mischievously with mouse placement. Sometimes the mouse is behind Owl or just out of his sightline; other times, the mouse is on a solid, orange-colored page across the spread from Owl, which removes him from Owl’s scene in a rather postmodern manner. Is the mouse toying with Owl? Who knows?

A funny tale about stress and an ever upping ante, with a comforting end. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-1275-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

Next book


Animated and educational.

A hare and a ground squirrel banter about the differences between related animals that are often confused for one another.

Jack is “no Flopsy, Mopsy, or Cottontail,” but a “H-A-R-E, hare!” Like sheep and goats, or turtles and tortoises, rabbits and hares may look similar, but hares are bigger, their fur changes color in the winter, and they are born with their eyes wide open. As the ground squirrel (not to be mistaken for a chipmunk (even though Jack cheekily calls it “Chippie”) and Jack engage in playful discussion about animals, a sneaky coyote prowls after them through the Sonoran Desert. This picture book conveys the full narrative in spirited, speech-bubbled dialogue set on expressive illustrations of talking animals. Dark outlines around the characters make their shapes pop against the softly blended colors of the desert backgrounds. Snappy back-and-forth paired with repetition and occasional rhyme enhances the story’s appeal as a read-aloud. As the story progresses, the colors of the sky shift from dawn to dusk, providing subtle, visual bookends for the narrative. One page of backmatter offers a quick guide to eight easily confused pairs, and a second turns a subsequent exploration of the book into a seek-and-find of 15 creatures (and one dessert) hidden in the desert. Unfortunately, while most of the creatures from the seek-and-find appear in poses that match the illustrations in the challenge, not all of them are consistently represented. (This book was reviewed digitally with 7-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 53.3% of actual size.)

Animated and educational. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-12506-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Close Quickview