cover image Hoot and Peep

Hoot and Peep

Lita Judge. Dial, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-42837-4

Hoot the owl is ready to share his “owly wisdom” with his younger sister, Peep, and introduce her to nocturnal life in the city (which looks to be a cross between the historic sections of London and Paris). But Peep, deeply moved by the sounds and sights of the night—“the magic of the moonbeams,” the “slip-slap of waves against stone”—insists on singing a very un-owlike song: “Schweeep dingity dong, schweeep dingity dong!” Frustrated by his sister’s expressions of autonomy, Hoot loses his temper in a classic older sibling way: “Hooo is the only way to say everything!” Peep flies away, forcing Hoot to make amends and acknowledge that “Little sisters have their own owly wisdom.” Judge’s (Good Morning to Me!) watercolors don’t always have a clear focus, and the story can be difficult to track. But attentive reading pays off: it’s a lovely nighttime fantasy whose starry, blue-tinged scenes among tiled rooftops, chimney pipes, and gothic spires bring to mind Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. Ages 3–5. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (Mar.)