Review Blog

May 09 2012

Moo Hoo by Candace Ryan

cover image

Ill. by Mike Lowery. Bloomsbury, 2012. ISBN 9781408825228.
(Ages: 3-6) Recommended. Cow and Owl are best of friends and do everything together. They play music, mend their toys and have lots of fun saying Boo at Halloween. When Roo comes along wanting to be friends they don't include him in their games, but they soon realise that their pastimes could be enlivened by a third friend and go off to find him.
Ryan and Lowery have combined to make an unusual and delightful picture book. Collaborators on Ribbit Rabbit, 2011, they come together again in a clever and memorable rhyming book. Cow and Owl are identified with the words Moo and Hoo and it is amazing how many rhymes can be made with words sounding like 'oo'. It is also a warm book about friendship. As a reader my heart fell when Roo went off feeling blue after Moo and Hoo ignored him , and soared when they finally found him, with a big 'Woo hoo!'
Lowery's illustrations at first glance look flat with pastel backgrounds, but as the characters became more familiar his ability to draw emotions with one or two strokes is very evident. As a reader I delighted in the little subtle touches of humour like the cowbell around Moo's neck and Moo and Hoo's obsession with super heroes.
This would be a great book to read aloud and one that young children will easily be able to memorise and begin reading for themselves. It will also be a good opportunity for parents and teachers to point out that capital letters can be used entirely for the text in a picture book as has occurred in this one, and then compare it with another book that uses upper and lower case.
Pat Pledger

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