cover image Little Hoot

Little Hoot

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, , illus. by Jen Corace. . Chronicle, $12.99 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-6023-9

The team that pertly turned the eat-your-vegetables dilemma upside-down with Little Pea again puts reverse psychology to work, this time for the sake of bedtime. Like his legume counterpart, Little Owl has a great life—except for one thing: “All my other friends get to go to bed so much earlier than me! Why do I always have to stay up and play? It's not fair!” This follow-up lacks the full-strength visual quirkiness of Little Pea : the peas' stripped-down roundedness (they were essentially a family of heads) made everything they did even funnier. The considerably more anthropomorphized owl family, on the other hand, feels recognizable, which blunts the comic impact of their bizarro worldview. Even so, this outing is not to be missed. Rosenthal and Krouse plant little gags throughout—when Little Hoot is seen at school, the lesson on the chalkboard reads “who/ whom/ whose”—and they sustain the joke with such twisted-logic gems as this one from Papa Owl: “I don't give a hoot what time your friends go to bed. In this family, we stay up late.” Ages 3-up. (Mar.)