The Well Read Review: Hoot and Peep
Lita Judge (Author/Illustrator)
Dial Books for Young Readers
Lita Judge's Shop - SIGNED (Also, AMAZING artwork)
Lita, Lita, Lita.
You had me at Flight School. And Red Hat. And Red Sled. And...now this? Adorable, poetic, delightful.
Little Peep sees and hears beauty, mystery and magic everywhere. Despite older brother Hoot's well-intended efforts to impart all of his owly wisdom upon her ("Hooo is the only way to say EVERYTHING!"), Peep knows that an owl's song can't pay homage to this magic with a simple Hooo. It requires a schweeep...and a coo...and a dingity dong.
Judge personifies animals in ways that allow all of the mystery and beauty of the animal to be retained - allowing readers to learn a lesson while still remembering that these are animals with their own sets of rules, desires and intentions. We follow Hoot and Peep into the lessons that older siblings don't always know everything, that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and that sometimes by doing only what is expected we lose out on beauty. And magic. And creation. Yet even as Judge delivers all of this wisdom, Hoot and Peep are still allowed to be just owls, doing what owls do - flying through the city, hanging out on rooftops and singing owly songs.
I could go on and on about Judge's artwork. But I think I'll stick with this: Hoot and Peep is an illustrated reminder to find the beauty in nature, in the city and in life itself.
My only criticism - it ends a little abruptly. I would have loved a few more schweepty peeps, and in all honesty, I would have liked to see Hoot's way of singing ("Hooo") a little more incorporated into the final duet...a schweeepty peep hooo-whoo dingity dong bong. And whether or not it is printed on the page, my reading of it will probably always end with my own version of an owly duet...
Have you read Hoot and Peep? Did you love it?