Whoo Goes There?

Overview

Whoo goes there? Whoo? In this mystical story of hunter and hunted, an owl listens for little creatures scurrying far below. Mouse? Squirrel? Rabbit? Or something else entirely? Stunning illustrations plus hypnotic text take readers on a suspenseful journey through night and nature.

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Overview

Whoo goes there? Whoo? In this mystical story of hunter and hunted, an owl listens for little creatures scurrying far below. Mouse? Squirrel? Rabbit? Or something else entirely? Stunning illustrations plus hypnotic text take readers on a suspenseful journey through night and nature.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The predictive text and handsome pictures are just right for reading with preschoolers, who will surely chime in with some speculation and questions.” —Starred, School Library Journal

Kitchen’s artwork is very detailed; many of his meticulously drawn animals appear ready to walk right off the pages.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Not only an appealing ode to nighttime, this quiet story will also clue young children in to the often-unnoticed dramas of nature.”—Booklist Online

Publishers Weekly
Compelling pacing, dark colors and an air of mystery lend significance to a series of events that might otherwise go unnoticed. Sitting on a bare tree limb under a full moon, Owl hears a rustling noise. “Whoo goes there? thought Owl. Is it a mouse—a fat little mouse just right for my dinner?” But no, it's a cat. The sequence is repeated with different animals: Owl's prospect always turns out to be either an unappetizing animal or prey that another animal has gotten to first—a useful lesson in the series of near misses that constitute the life of a predator. Ericsson's (A Piece of Chalk) sentences are short and spare, but the tension builds as Owl keeps getting fooled. Kitchen (Animal Alphabet) is master of the whisker-thin paint stroke—readers can almost see the porcupine's quills quiver in the velvety night. His paintings of the animals are a little like solemn American primitive portraits, though more detailed—and they add a layer of complexity to a deceptively simple book. Ages 2–6. (Oct.)\
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
It is a dark night. Hungry Owl watches and waits. Hearing a rustle, he wonders whether it is "a fat little mouse just right for my dinner." In terse, carefully crafted sentences, printed in large type with interspersed sound effects, Ericsson has us wait with Owl as he watches "with his big round eyes." A cat slinks by, no good for dinner. Something else moves. Each time Owl wonders, "Whoo goes there?" and whether it will be right for his dinner, but then it is a skunk, not the desired squirrel. A thump has Owl asking again. When it turns out to be a rabbit, "just right…" it is being chased by a fox, so no chance there. A squeak turns out to be an undesirable bat. A shuffle is a porcupine, not a possum. A splash is a beaver, not a fish. Finally, it is a mouse that he hears, but Owl cannot catch him either. The realism of animals' need for food is balanced here with a lack of violence. Kitchen's finely painted naturalistic scenes are like a natural history album of creatures in the woods at night. On the front jacket, Owl stares at us from the branches of a leafless tree. We sense his quiet attentiveness and the potency in his eyes. Equally informative are the thirteen illustrations to follow with each animal set in some natural context, even the noisy, mischievous raccoons messing in the garbage cans and frightening the mouse away. The orange end pages contrast with the darkness of the night setting. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Finding food involves a long night of waiting and listening that's also filled with disappointment for a handsome owl perched high in a tree. Ericsson uses a simple repetitive scheme to introduce an array of small animals that travel through the owl's moonlit world. "'Whoo goes there?' thought Owl. 'Is it a mouse—a fat little mouse just right for dinner?'" No, this time the rustling is a cat padding across the yard. "Owl did not want cat for his dinner." Cat is followed by new noises and hoped-for possibilities including a squirrel, a rabbit, a bird, an opossum, and a fish. The mistaken sounds ("Eeeek, eeeek"; "Skitter, skitter") belong to a skunk, a fox, a bat, a porcupine, and a beaver. Kitchen's naturalistic paintings are set in attractive alternating sets. On pages of soft buff, blue, or green, Owl perches next to the text describing the next candidate for dinner, who is seen in the facing scene. The page turns to a much fuller view of the actual animal paired with a white column of text. The predictable pattern does finally lead to a fat mouse, but just as Owl swoops down there's a new interruption. Owl disappears, and the mouse is left hunting for his own dinner. The predictive text and handsome pictures are just right for reading with preschoolers, who will surely chime in with some speculation and questions.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
A hungry owl in a tall tree watches, listens and waits for his dinner. He tries to match the sounds he hears with the prey he eats, but is often incorrect in his guesses. "Shuffle, shuffle." "Whoo goes there?" thinks Owl. "Is it an opossum-a fat little opossum just right for my dinner?" But it turns out to be a porcupine. And so it goes for Owl. Even when he does finally spy a good dinner, his efforts at catching it are thwarted. The repetitive phrases and guessing format are well suited to a young audience, who will likely enjoy giving reasons why Owl would not want to eat the animals he sees. On the flip side, however, the text may be a little long for them and there are no visual clues to ground children's guesses. Kitchen's artwork is very detailed; many of his meticulously drawn animals appear ready to walk right off the pages, while the muted palette suits the nighttime setting. A mixed bag, this needs a carefully chosen audience. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596433717
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,405,861
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

JENNIFER A. ERICSSON, a children's librarian, is the author of several books, including A PIECE OF CHALK, illustrated by Michelle Shapiro. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL called it "dreamy." She lives in Concrod, New Hampshire.

BERT KITCHEN has illustrated many books, including THE BREMEN TOWN MUSICIANS by Doris Orgel. Among his many honors, he has received the International Graphics Award. He lives in London.

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