Little Hoot

March 16, 2011



Title: Little Hoot
Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator: Jen Corace
Best for Age: 4-8
ISBN: 9780811860239
Publisher: Chronicle Books (2007)
List Price: Hardcover, $14.99
Buy on Amazon



When most people think of children’s books, they actually think of bedtime books. We all remember those favorite stories our mom, dad, grandparent, or babysitter, would read to us before we went to sleep as a child. And on behalf of all of the children’s book scholars, fans, and followers out there, I would like to give a big thank you to bedtime; let’s face it, without that sacred half hour, and the books needed to fill it, we might not get to study and enjoy this fabulous genre.

Now, bedtime books are pretty easy to find,  Goodnight Moon, Pajama Time!, and Good Night, Gorilla are all top sellers. And while each of those titles hold a special place in my heart, I have to say that Little Hoot, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, trumps them all (I know, I know, I blaspheme to state that a book could be better than good old [cough cough boring old] Goodnight Moon).

But I believe there is a big difference between reading a bedtime book that lulls your child to sleep through sheer boredom, and a bedtime book that will actual make them want to go to sleep.

Little Hoot is en example of the later, due to the book’s adorable main character, a young night owl who just wants to go to sleep!

Little Hoot enjoys school and playing hide-and-seek; and like most little ones, he can’t stand bedtime! But young readers will be surprised to learn that Little Hoot’s frustration with bedtime is rather different from their own. Little Hoot does not like bedtime because his parents make him stay up late, late, late!

Little Hoot’s parents explain that if he is going to be a respectable and wise old owl he must stay up late. Little Hoot complains that all his other friends get to go to bed so much earlier than he does, but Mama and Papa Owl stand their ground.

“Stay up and play for one more hour and then you can go to sleep,” Mama Owl compromised.

“One whole hour?” he boo-whoo’d.

“One whole hour,” she cooed.

Your young readers will be thoroughly entertained by this little owl as he begrudgingly finds things to do to fill the long hour of playtime before bed, all while mumbling, “When I grow up, I’m going to let my kids go to bed as early as they want.” And they will surely laugh out loud when they hear Little Hoot’s parents chime “ten more minutes,” “what about a bedtime story?” and “don’t forget a glass of water!”

Little Hoot, which is perfect for all of the little night owls you may know, is a part of Rosenthal’s three-book series that turns common kid complains upside-down. For picky eaters, have them take a bite out of Little Pea, an equally silly and adorable story about a little legume who must clean his dinner plate of all five pieces of candy before he can delight in his tasty spinach. And for those messy little piglets in your life, check out Little Oink, about a pig who hates that he has to keep his room as messy as can be.

[Chronicle even has a boxed set with all three titles, in board-book format. How Convenient!]

Jen Corace’s fabulous ink and water-color illustrations are paired beautifully with Rosenthal’s  playful, sweet, and simple writing style. Little Hoot may turn bedtime on its head, but I think it is superb. And perhaps if you read it before you say “sweet dreams” to your little night owls you might find that they start emulating this fun character’s desire for dozing. Well… one can always hope, right?


Other books by Amy Krouse Rosenthal that I would recommend:
Duck! Rabbit!
Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons
Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love
Yes Day!
It’s Not Fair!

One comment

  1. These seem to be very entertaining books! I never would have dreamed of reading a book where a child actually wants to sleep, but has to stay up! Children are naturally picky eaters and like to make a mess so I think those stories would be good at teaching children how to deal with such things. The illustrations alone would get me to pick up any of these books!

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