Rating: 5 witty stars
Things to know about me:
1. I really love owls. We are lucky enough to live in the woods, and I hear owls most nights, and sometimes even see them, swooping between the trees, grabbing a snake or squirrel, or just peering down at me as I walk my dogs. Their hoots are magical.
2. I think humor is sometimes a tough thing to accomplish in children's books. Slapstick stuff is fairly easy--throw the word "underpants" in and you could make my kids roar in approval--but the real wit takes talent.
3. I am really easily amused (I crack myself up all day long, doing things like putting Kiefer in Christmas pajamas in June to make me chuckle), so maybe this book isn't as witty as I think it is. You read it and decide. Let me know if I'm delusional.
Okay, now the book.
Little Hoot is an owl that does things that all little kids do--play hide-n-seek, go to school, practice staring (okay, I don't practice this one, but Little Hoot's stares are pretty funny). But one thing set him apart: bedtime. All of his friends get to go to bed much earlier, but he is forced to stay up and play. "It's not fair!" he complains with groggy eyes, pajamas already on, blankie in hand. Instead of going to sleep like he wants to, his parents make him go play for one more hour.
"Can I stop playing now?" pleaded Little Hoot.
|"When I grow up, I'm going to let my kids|
go to bed as early as they want."
"Alright," the young owl scowled.
Finally he gets to go to bed. He hoots in delight! He jumps into bed and tucks himself in, and before his mom can read him the nine novels (think War and Peace size) she's carrying and before he can drink the giant glass of water his father is carrying, he's fast asleep.
Lorelei and Ben and I laughed out loud at this. It is so funny! It's like a test of your children's humor. Do they get it? Do they realize how funny it is to make a little kid/owl stay up late when he wants to go to bed?
Okay, I think you have to read it to fully get it. But it's so witty and worthwhile. Check out all three of Rosenthal's books in this series--there is the original Little Pea (the pea is forced to eat candy for dinner but delights in spinach for dessert) and Little Oink (the pig is told to be messy when all he wants to do is be neat). Treasures, all. At least me and my kids think so.