cover image Good Night Owl

Good Night Owl

Greg Pizzoli. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4847-1275-7

Pizzoli’s picture books can feel a little like Twilight Zone light: a cat who wishes away his family (Templeton Gets His Wish), a car-racing dog who unexpectedly loses (Number One Sam), a crocodile who fears a watermelon is growing inside him (The Watermelon Seed). This story is no different as it introduces a blue owl whose attempts at slumber are repeatedly interrupted by an inexplicable “squeek!” Readers instantly see that a friendly gray mouse is the culprit, but Owl isn’t so lucky. In an effort to locate the source of the noise, he clears the shelves of knickknacks and vinyl albums (he looks to be a fan of the Clash and Ramones), pries up the floorboards, and tears the roof off the house. Pizzoli’s bright colors, mid-century modern details, and fuzzy outlines offer a zingy counterbalance to Owl’s increasingly frazzled mental state. After reducing the house to rubble, Owl finally sees the mouse (“Owl smiled. He said, ‘Good night, noise.’ ”), and the two curl up in bed to sleep. Is that what the mouse was after all along? Pizzoli leaves the answer to readers. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)