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Monday, December 11, 2017

Hoot and Peep: A Song for Snow, written and illustrated by Lita Judge. Dial Books for Young Readers, Random House. 2017. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"Does it scrrinkle scrattle
like falling leaves?"

"Hooo," answered Hoot. He
kept his answer vague
because he couldn't remember
snow's song. He was only
Peep's age when he saw
winter before.
"Snow is cold, Peeps."

We, in Manitoba, are still waiting for significant snow. Sure, there is a bit on the ground, but not much to speak about when discussing the weather. We do have ice, winds and constantly changing temperatures. A snowfall is not in our forecast at the moment. Oh well, we can be as patient as Hoot is in this second book about sibling owls who look out for each other.

Hoot is older, and watches over his little sister. Peep is very young, inquisitive, and wanting to know as much as she can about their world. She turns to her brother for information and to answer all questions she might have. Peep has never seen snow; because she thinks of the world in melodic terms, she asks her brother what snow's song is. Hoot, who has experienced snow only one time, has no recollection of a song. But, he knows the best place to wait for snow. Together, they do just that. All the while Peep is trying to guess what snow's song might be.

When snow finally arrives, Peep is delighted. It is then she realizes how truly bright her brother is:
snow's song is silence ... and it is worthy of awed whispers. Together, they make up their own songs for snow.

Heartwarming and full of delight (as was our first meeting with them), Lita Judge fills her spreads with gentle watercolor images sure to delight young listeners, with cheery, delightful dialogue between siblings, and with real wonder in the changing season as a blanket of soft white falls. The setting is gorgeous, inviting boisterous play. Their mouse friend is happy to join in, as he has done all along.

Might we see them again come spring?  I do hope so!  

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