Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise


  • Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise
  • written by Sean Taylor
  • illustrated by Jean Jullien
  • published by Candlewick Press (2014)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise might be my favorite book of a recent spate of bedtime storybooks we’ve read here at Roarbots HQ. The art is adorable, the main character is a total joy, and the story is a genuine pleasure.

Hoot Owl is, as the title would suggest, a master of disguise. Or so he thinks. Everywhere he looks is a tasty treat. Here’s a rabbit, there’s a lamb, over yonder is a pigeon … and is that a pizza??

Photo Jun 25, 10 34 54 PM

Hoot Owl thinks up the cutest forms of camouflage you can imagine, which are so silly that kids are bound to be giggling all the way through this book. But for some reason, Hoot Owl’s prey keeps escaping. What’s a hungry owl to do?

The use of repetition (of both words and patterns) engages children in the story, and a delightful sense of humor keeps them engaged all the way through. I even find myself flipping through the book when the kids aren’t around. Jean Jullien’s artwork here is deceptively simple, and the whole package is just enchanting.

Kudos to the entire team on this one. Fantastic art (Jean Jullien), remarkable text (Sean Taylor), and exceptional production (Candlewick) all come together to produce a book kids are sure to love.

Highly recommended.

Photo Jun 25, 10 34 37 PM

(Thanks to Candlewick Press who provided The Roarbots with a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire, StarWars.com, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.