Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Jean Jullien, is a wonderfully fun and playful new picture book. The owl starts out by stating his intention to use his master of disguise skills in order to catch an animal to eat. He cleverly thinks to disguise himself as a carrot in order to lure an unsuspecting rabbit. However, his disguise does not work. So he hatches another plan to disguise himself, which fails, and another, and another, until he is finally able to outsmart a pizza by disguising as a waiter. Before he tries each new disguise, he states how tough and scary he is, only to have his disguise fail, well, expect when it came to the pizza.
This book is delightful. The illustrations are simple but fun. I couldn’t help but laugh at the story. He is so confident in his sneaky skills, only to be outwitted at every turn.It is perfectly suited for a bedtime story. It is engaging and lighthearted. Some of the text might be written at slightly above the reading level of children who would find the story interesting, but there are a few lines that are repeated throughout the book, such as “and look there” which could be read by young children in order to enhance the experience.
The element which really made this book shine, was that I can see many adults enjoying the story as well, making it easier for them to read it over, and over, and over again to children who make it their favorite bedtime story. I think this book would make an excellent addition to any children’s library.