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Sunday, January 8, 2017

HOORAY FOR TODAY! Written and illustrated by Brian Won. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Raincoast. 2016. $23.99 ages 2 and up

"But Elephant did not
want to play.

So Owl tucked
Elephant back in
and whispered,

"Maybe another day.
Good night, Elephant."

What a lovely book to share with little ones, just learning about the joys of friendships and how those friends can make each day better! Of course, it's after dark when Owl is finally ready to take her toys (a horn, balloons, books) and find a companion for shared play.

Not everyone is awake at night when Owl is. In fact, each animal friend welcomes her, each one ready for bed. Elephant willingly trades his night cap for Owl's party hat, and is also happy to be tucked back into bed by his avian friend. Owl moves on to Zebra. Zebra is not impressed with Owl's trumpet until Owl plays him a lullaby to send Zebra off to dreamland.

On she goes, willing to offer her toys for playing, and undisturbed by each refusal. Instead, she assures that each is soundly sleeping before she seeks the company of another. She has great love for each one. When she finally hoots a request for play into the nighttime, no one answers.  Poor Owl!

"Today is a bad, bad day," Owl said.
"Nobody wants to play!"

Finally, as the sun came up,
she walked back home ... "

Guess who's waiting to play? Owl begs off in order to get some sleep, with a promise that a nap should do it and then she should be ready again!

 Using repetition for the telling makes this perfect fare for little ones wanting to try some independent reading. They will surely help with familiar phrases as it is read aloud to them. The artwork evokes the cool of the night, with splotches of bright color to bring Owl's toys and her animal friends into the spotlight. Listeners will love it when the book must be shown vertically to grasp Giraffe's size.

Full of charm, and endless fun. Here's to another book for our 'bedtime' reads!

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