Monday, November 17, 2008

Review #3: "Little Hoot" and "Little Pea"

Dad:  Today's books are "Little Hoot" and "Little Pea," both of them written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace.
Isaac (age 10):  This is our first ever double Bookie Woogie!
Lily (age 5):  Little Hoot did not like bedtime because he always had to stay up late, late, late.  "Little Pea" was about a pea, and he did not like candy at all.  For dinner, peas eat candy, candy, candy.
Gracie (age 8):  I would like eating candy all day...
Lily:  Well, it's kind of weird because People always have things that are healthy for dinner and things that aren't healthy for dessert.  But in the book they switched it around.  The candy first and the dinner after.
Gracie:  They're the opposite -- all kids want to stay up late, and all kids want to have candy for dinner.
Isaac:  No they don't...  not all kids...
Gracie:  I want to have candy for dinner!
Lily:  Well, I like peas...
Isaac:  But some kids don't like vegetables, so in the story they tell it from a different point of view, so kids will understand.  Little Hoot and Little Pea are the opposite.
Lily: ...I also like candy!  I like red, orange, yellow, polka-dot, striped, swirly kind...
Isaac:  These books teach you to --
Gracie: -- They teach you to stay up late and to eat candy for dinner!
Isaac:  So...  you want to be a Mutant Pea Owl?
All:  Hahahahahahah...
Dad:  Do I ever say things like Papa Pea does?
Gracie:  Here's what I sound like: "How much tuna fish do I have to eat?"  Then you say, "Eat eight pieces because you are 8."  "WHAT?"
Isaac:  I have to eat more food because I'm 10.  Big bites too!  I wish I was 3!
Gracie:  Do you think Little Pea knows he is going to be eaten?  Like Arnie the Doughnut... peas get eaten also.
Isaac:  The peas eat spinach -- that's practically a vegetable like they are!  Why in the world would they pick that!
Dad:  Spinach isn't alive, silly boy...
Gracie:  Peas aren't alive, crazy dad!
Dad:  Sure they are -- look in the picture: they're all happy, bouncing around...
Gracie:  Uugh!  I'm never eating a pea again!
Isaac:  Little Pea must be microscopic.  All the peas in his family are already small, so he must be super tiny.
Gracie:  I think those peas live in Pealand.
Dad:  So tell everybody what the pictures look like...
Isaac:  The pictures are watercolors.  The lines are sketchy.
Gracie:  Little Pea just has eyes, a mouth, and freckles.
Isaac:  The pictures only show the things they need to show.  Like in that picture, it only has the pea and the pieces of candy on the plate.  And the words.
Gracie:  And what about his shadow...
Isaac:  Everything else is white.  This is a white world.
Dad:  That's called using "White Space"
Isaac:  I like it.
Gracie:  You don't have to draw as much.
Isaac:  It must have just taken three days to draw.
(Gracie begins flipping through Little Hoot, then points at a picture)
Gracie:  Look - that owl just died!
All:  Hahahahahaha...
Isaac:  I think he only fell out of his chair.  And the teacher doesn't care one bit.
Gracie:  He died!
Dad:  Little Hoot doesn't even need to turn his body around to look at him...
Gracie:  Owls can turn their heads backwards.
Lily:  I can do that!
Isaac:  Elijah is the opposite of Little Hoot.  Every night he always wants water...  always wants a hundred "bookies" read to him.
Lily:  If I could, I would stay up all night and watch Dad draw.
Dad: ...because I work at night sometimes.
Lily:  I like to see how you draw.
Gracie:  I would stay up late and watch Phantom of the Opera.
Isaac:  In this picture, the only person outside with Little Hoot is a bat.
Dad:  Why is a bat a good choice.
Gracie:  Because owls eat bats?
All:  Hahahahhahahah...
Dad:  I don't think he's going to eat him!
Lily:  It's because bats and owls stay out at night...
Gracie:  He's going to eat him!  Owls do eat bats...
Dad:  We already talked about some ways these two books are alike.  Are there any other ways they are similar?
Isaac:  Both the characters are "Little."
Gracie:  They are both written by the same person.
Isaac:  Both books end with a joke: "They 'owl' lived happily ever after."
Gracie:  And: "They lived hap-PEA-ly ever after."
Dad:  Do you think they'll make a third book?  What other things don't kids like to do?
Gracie:  Cleaning up!
Isaac:  They could do Little Pig!
Gracie:  Yeah!
Isaac:  It could end: "Hap-Piggily Ever After..."
All:  Hahahahahahhah...

Little Hoot's daydream, by Isaac

Little Hoot and Mama Hoot, by Lily

Little Pea's nightmare, by Gracie

pea family snowman, by Lily

Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator: Jen Corace
"Little Pea" published 2005, "Little Hoot" 2008: Chronicle Books
Like 'em? Find 'em


Carrie said...

I saw the book Little Pea in a bookstore recently and wondered about it. It looked like fun. However, my little boy hasn't discovered QUITE yet what candy is so I do'nt have this problem as yet. Yet I said.

At any rate, it sounds like you all enjoyed it so next time I see it, I might just pick it up!

Anonymous said...

I love this blog! I love both the "little" books and I'm a grownup sans children. Or an almost grown up really, I like to think. Keep it up!

Out of curiosity, are you recording all of these conversations and then transcribing them? I kept imagining all of the fun chaos while all the kids were together to do their discussion and "review."

Anonymous said...

Oops, just kidding! I saw you already answered that question!

ElizT said...

very entertaining; lovely work.

Anonymous said...

We love Little Pea in our house. I love Gracie's interpretation of Little Pea's nightmare! Hilarious! Equally creative is the Pea Family snowman. And Isaac's talent for drawing owls--wow! Nice job, Z family!

Z-Kids said...

Thanks for commenting us everybody.
To Carrie: My candy is almost gone because I am a candy machine. I am definitely Little Pea's opposite. You will love the book - it is really good.

- Gracie

Anonymous said...

That was fabulous. I love that "They teach you to stay up late and to eat candy for dinner!" I am sure my daughter would love the books.

Loved the drawings. I think the next we read something maybe I will have her draw something.

Z-Kids said...

Wow -- today Bookie Woogie was included in Write4Kids' new video series for writers: Best Children's Lit Blog of the Day. The video includes a very, very eclectic mix. We're honored that our little blog was also considered worthy of note. Thanks!

Dragana Savkov - Bajić said...

Your blog is an interesting place! :) Very beautiful drawing! I'm amazed by Lily's work! Can't believe that 5 years old child can draw like that! My compliments! :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful artwork from your children- obviously, they have talent!

I enjoyed the conversation also. We'll need to look up those books I think they'd be a hit at our house.

Kim Baise said...

So glad I'm doing the 20 day challenge because I love your blog and otherwise may have missed it. It's so much fun, filled with color and reviews of picture books from a child's point of view.

Anonymous said...

What an excellent idea (and amazing - 2800 books?? I thought I had a lot after 15+ years of motherhood and 13+ years as a children's bookseller, but you have me beat!) and a fabulous way to involve your children in the reading experience beyond the page! I LOVE the art inspired by the books!

Tanya @

Lenore Appelhans said...

I love both of these books. "Looks like it only took 3 days to draw". If they only knew!!

Ste Hitchen said...

great style, lovely clear lines

Z-Kids said...

Lenore -

Yes, the ignorant bliss of the young'uns... I hope Jen Corace has no hard feelings!

Personally, I know something executed with such PERFECT minimalism is a Huge endeavor... Reminds me of a Mark Twain quote where he said something like, "Sorry this letter is so long, but I didn't have much time to write..."

Jen Corace is brilliant. And I always love great use of white space.


Sherry Gann said...

Love your blog! We are always looking for new ideas about what to check out from the library. Your reviews will be very helpful to us. Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

First of all, I love your reviews and all of the illustrations!

And in case you hadn't seen it yet, there is going to be a book "Little Oink" in April!