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Welcome to Books to Hoot About! the children's book review blog from InfoSoup librarians and users!

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Author: Jimmy Fallon

Delightful! Kids will love this book where fathers are teaching their babies to say "dada" but the babies are speaking in their own animal languages.

Jimmy Fallon has been one celebrity who can conquer the picture book format. Enjoy!

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Title: Wednesday
Author: Anne Bertier

Cooperation is a feature of super heroes! In this book, Little Round and Big Square play a game where they each try to turn into something else. The game morphs into something far more interesting when the two of them agree to join forces to make things! This is a very fun picture book. It is clever and relatable.

Interesting concept

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Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix

Luke is growing up in a community where it is against the law for parents to have more than two children. He is the third child so he is forced to live in the attic of his parent’s house. He is to keep hidden at all times and not be discovered. He has known this from when he was a very small child. It wasn’t too bad at home when there was a dense woods by his house. He could play out there and no one would know he was there. When the government decided to take over those woods to build more houses, Luke’s freedom ended. He was told to stay inside the house and to stay away from windows. His parents wanted to leave the curtains open during the day so that they wouldn’t draw any suspicion from anyone. This made it very hard for Luke to do much of anything. He had to stay upstairs. He even had to eat his meals on the bottom step. He quickly realized he would never go to school. He would never be able to do the things his brothers did and often complained about. He started to wonder if there were any other kids out there like him.

This book was very good and the start to a really good series. It is a good series for reluctant readers.  There is intrigue, suspense and mystery throughout.  Great for elementary students.  These books are not too long and chapters are short.  The story is interesting enough to keep them reading.

Great book

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Author: Mike Lupica

The Million Dollar Throw is about a boy named Nate Brodie . He is the star quarterback for his team even though he is only thirteen years old. Football is his life. He loves the game. His favorite NFL team is the New England Patriots. His favorite player is Tom Brady, quarterback for the Patriots. He has admired Tom and looked up to him for as long as he can remember. His friends and teammates even call him “Brady” instead of Brodie.

One of Nate’s goals has been to save up enough money to purchase “The Brady Ball”. This ball has Tom Brady’s signature on it and was at a store in his town called SportStuff. Nate finally had enough money saved up to buy the ball. When he buys it, the employee at the store tells him about a contest called “The Million Dollar Throw”. “The winner of the contest was going to get the chance to make one throw --- from thirty yards away through a twenty-inch hole --- at halftime of the Patriots Thanksgiving night game against the Colts.” Nate is drawn as the contest winner.

All of a sudden he feels a lot of stress. The pressure is almost too much. He knows how much this money could help out his family. He knows his parents are struggling to pay bills and that their house is in jeopardy of being taken over by the bank. Also, all of a sudden there are cameras and reporters everywhere. While he practices they are there. At his games, they are there. He also is preoccupied with his friend Abby’s problem of going blind. Add all of those pressures up and it is easy to see why his game performance has been suffering. He is missing easy passes and over analyzing his performance. His coach even takes him out of a big game because of his lack of focus.  His confidence takes a serious nose dive.

Can he pull himself together?  Does he make that important throw?  You will have to read the book to find out!  Excellent pacing and great story telling keep you on the edge of your seat.  You are cheering for Nate all the way through this book.  Great for reluctant readers, especially boys. This story is great for older elementary kids.

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Author: Celestino Piatti

This pair of wise owls attempt to teach the (foul) fowls that being happy is being appreciative of nature and the seasons.

Even the youngest among us understand the message of this book.

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Author: Sean Taylor

This great book has owl donning disguises to catch prey. The words are rhythmic (and sound like bragging) so the reader can use their voice in an exaggerated tone. Delightful!

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Author: JonArno Lawson

What a beautiful picture book! This is a book with  no words but who needs words when the illustrations move this story along so well? A young girl and her father walk the streets of a busy city and while the father is preoccupied on this cell phone, the girl picks flowers (and weeds) that she finds here and there. As the walk progresses, the girl notices things and her kindness and compassion shine through when she decides to share her flowers. Older preschoolers and early elementary aged children will love pondering the action in this book. A story beautifully told.

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Author: Jen Bryant

This book is 2015 Caldicott Honor Book and it's not hard to see why. This is the story of Peter Roget, the man who gave us Roget's Thesaurus. This book has helped generations find just the right word when necessary and the story of Roget's life from a little boy through adulthood is a sweet one. The illustrations include watercolor, collage and lists all arranged cleverly on the pages. How does someone come to write a Thesaurus? By being fascinated with lists as a child. Roget chose the greek word for "treasure house" for a title for his book and it fits. This book will delight any young artits or wordsmiths and grown ups will learn a few things too. Especially Latin.