Thursday 5 September 2013

10 Hooting Owls

10 Hooting Owls by Ed Allen, illustrated by Simon Williams (Scholastic Press)
PB RRP $13.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-698-0
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

I really enjoy these counting books based on the Ten Green Bottles song. 10 Hooting Owls is yet another enjoyable and amusing version, perfect to read aloud to young children.

The rhyme works well and is consistent throughout and each owl has an amusing reason for leaving the flock. In nine the owls are in disguise and the poor owl dressed as a magpie is being shuffled off by other magpies who don’t seem to notice the difference. In seven, one of the skating owls becomes a champion.

I love the illustrations. Williams’ owls are fabulous, especially their facial expressions and body language. In six, the fluffy pink owl gets chicken pox and is all droopy while the other owls have moved to the far end of the branch and watch him out of the corner of their eyes as they knit.

This is a vibrant, joyful book. One in which the pictures tell as much of the story as the creative and rhythmic text. And as an added bonus the relevant number is hidden on each page and is not always easy to find. 10 Hooting Owls is a really fun backwards counting book which will be enjoyed by adult readers and the young children they read it to.

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