Thursday, May 11, 2017
Hoot and Honk Just Can't Sleep by Leslie Helakoski
In Hoot and Honk Just Can't Sleep, there's a storm. Two eggs are on the ground. Two moms take them back to their nests. But, the eggs have been switched. Hoot, who has ended up with a family of geese, is a baby owl who can't sleep during the nighttime and goes exploring. He finds some other owlets and realizes he's found his home. Honk is a gosling accidentally living with an owl family. He thinks the owl diet is revolting and can't sleep during the daylight hours. He goes exploring, just like Hoot, and discovers some fellow goslings. Honk has also found his home.
Using very simple words and light rhyme that is occasionally a tiny bit awkward until you become accustomed to its unique rhythms, Hoot and Honk Just Can't Sleep tells about a mixup that is undone by its own victims. A cute story that I can see having a long usage span. Because the wording is simple and rhythmic, Hoot and Honk Just Can't Sleep is a good option for very young children who aren't quite ready to sit still for long. But, eventually, they're going to want to know about the weird owl diet and why owls are up at night and geese during the daytime, so the book also provides a good opening for discussion about nocturnal and diurnal animals, as well as the diets of different birds.
Recommended - A fun book with vibrant illustrations, simple language, and plenty of room for discussion, for classroom or home. Or, you can just enjoy it without looking for an excuse to teach a lesson (I was always all about the learning opportunity).
Both of my children attended camp at our local zoo and this book reminded me of the time my youngest son dissected an owl pellet and had such a violent allergic reaction that he had to be removed from the room. He was grinning when I picked him up. Did I know that owls swallow creatures whole and then eventualy cough up their bones? No, I did not. Owl pellets, he told me, were very cool and a little gross. He was not really fazed by the allergic reaction. No biggie; he learned something fun. I love that.
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