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Review: Hooray For Today!


The winning animal crew from Hooray for Hat! (2014) is back, this time celebrating the joy each day (or night) brings when in the company of friends.It's nighttime, and Owl is ready to play. One by one, she wakes her diurnal friends with an exuberant, "HOORAY FOR TODAY!"—to which each responds, "NOT NOW. I'M SLEEPY!" Gently, she lulls them with the toy and love she brings. In one last attempt for a playmate, Owl hoots her lines to the stars. A wordless spread humorously conveys how long she goes unanswered, as the sun appears before an amethyst sky. Dejected, Owl heads home only to find her friends waiting. The tables turned, she utters their sleepy phrase and, after a nap, returns to a jolly "HOORAY! LET'S PLAY!"

The author's use of repetition in combination with the text design makes for a lively, participatory read-aloud. Appealing digital illustrations, done in a cool color palette, appear spontaneous, belying a carefully thought-out reader experience. Bits of texture accenting large color areas heighten each animal's charm. Buoyant and funny, this second outing cleverly works within the structure of Won's debut, but he allows himself more freedom to riff and, in doing so, hits all the right notes. (Picture book. 4-7)

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