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

Author: Jean Pendziwol

This lyrical picture book celebrates the beauty of a northern night with snowflakes, owls, foxes, mice and snowshoe hares. A child is shown the "picture" right outside his window and in the process learns about the animals, the trees, the sky and the dark and how they are at night. This would be a great going to bed story.

Title: Windblown
Author: Edouard Manceau

This cumulative tale is simply stunning!  From one scrap of paper to seven, new animals emerge each claiming the scraps as their own.  From chicken, to fish, to bird and more, the scraps come together forming new animals until finally the wind blows them all away.  The sparse words and illustrations leave a big impact.

Author: Rachel Vail

Piggy Liam looks like an ordinary pig- chubby, pink and cute- however, he's got one interest in life- to become the Easter Bunny!  Even though Liam's parents remind him that he's a great piglet just as he is, it's grandma and grandpa that help Liam achieve his dream, bring so much joy for this little oinker.  The book is a reminder that all of us are unique individuals with something to offer.

Cranky Happens

Author: Samantha Berger

This book shows that every kid- at some point or another- can be a CRANKENSTEIN!  Perhaps it's a too early wake up call in the morning being bumped on the head with a ball- watch out, because Crankenstein is sure to emerge!  The cure, you're wondering?  How about a little bit of laughter to send Crankenstein back into the shadows.  The illustrator his the mark with this book- alternating between mute, dark grumpy pictures and colorful illustrations.

Dusk as Light

Title: Dusk
Author: Uri Shulevitz

This cleverly written and illustrated book by Uri Shulevitz celebrates that transition time from day to night...dusk. "Boy with dog and Grandfather with beard" go for a walk on a winter's day and not long into the walk the light begins to change. The reader finds out that this particular winter day is special indeed and with the diminishing natural light comes a world of wonder created by all the inhabitants of the city that is the setting for this story. This beautiful book for young people makes me want to be outside at dusk on all days of the year. A bonus in this book is that the author celebrates books and reading by making libraries and bookstores prominent in the illustrations.

Author: Christie Matheson

This book would be a great interactive activity for parents and children and/or caregivers. It would also make a great storytime read for libraries offering preschool programs. "Tap the tree" the readers are instructed and see what happens when you turn the page. What happens is that the tree goes through the seasons of a year and at the end of the book, begins again. Children will love the instructions - "blow the tree a tiny kiss", "brush away the petals (swish)" and will learn how trees survive all the days of the year.

Author: Daniel Beaty

Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me is the story of a young boy who suddenly faces the loss of his father's prescence in his everyday life. The boy and his father always played the "Knock Knock" game each morning as a way to greet each other and the new day and when the day comes when the boy doesn't hear the "knock knock" on his bedroom door it breaks his heart and leaves him wondering how he will get through the rest of his life. The reader eventually learns what happens to the father and is provided a glimpse of the boy's life through adulthood so the story ends with hope. The art of illustrator Bryan Collier portrays the layers of grief, disappointment and yearning that consume the young boy, but the art also portrays the hope that the father inspired in his boy and allowed him to thrive. This book would be a helpful read-aloud with any young people dealing with loss.

Title: Henny
Author: Elizabeth Rose Stanton

Henny is a chicken who is slightly different than other chickens.  Instead of wings, Henny has arms!  Henny sometimes enjoys having arms and sometimes it's not so much fun.  Read about all the fun things Henny can do with her arms and how she worries about such things as tennis elbow or being right handed or left handed.  Great fun!