Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise

The image is a photograph of a book cover. The book says "Hoot Owl Master of Disguise" in white letters on a black background. Below the title is a large red and orange cartoon owl's face.
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor

REVIEW

Hoot Owl is a master of disguise, and he is on the prowl for a tasty little animal to gobble up. He is brave! He is strong! He is cunning! He is… still hungry because his disguises are fooling no one.

Hoot Owl is the most endearing little predator, and kids will find his “disguises” to be hilarious. As I read this book, it was impossible not to use an extra dramatic voice. The language is so flowery and fun (“I swoop through the bleak blackness like a wolf in the air!”) and it lends itself well to some engaging lessons in word choice and vocabulary. There is also a series of lines that repeats throughout the book so kids will love to chime in as you read them.
I think that kids between the ages of 5 and 8 will get the most out of this book but there’s so much to love about it that younger and even older kids will still find it fun and engaging.

Discussion Questions
  1. What are some words that you could use to describe Hoot Owl?
  2. Do you think Hoot Owl is really a master of disguise? Why or why not?
  3. What would you use as a disguise if you were trying to catch the same animals as Hoot Owl?
  4. What did Hoot Owl finally eat for dinner?
Lesson Ideas

Somebody Wanted…But…So…Then

Hoot Owl is a simple story with a clear beginning, middle, and end, so it would be really great to use in a lesson about retelling/sequencing. It would work well with the “Somebody Wanted… But… So… Then” format of retelling, that would go something like this:

-SOMEBODY (Hoot Owl)

-WANTED (to catch a tasty animal)

-BUT (his disguises didn’t work and the animals ran away)

-SO (he disguised himself as a waiter to catch a tasty pizza)

-THEN (he ate the pizza and was no longer hungry). 

*With 5-6 year olds, I’d recommend making a storyboard template so they can draw a picture to go with each part.

Sequencing With a Group/Partner

You can also photocopy four or five pages from the book (one from the beginning, a few from the middle, and one from the end) and have students put them in order up on the board. Then they turn to a partner and take turns retelling the story using the pictures and sequencing words such as “first,””next,” “then,” “finally/last.”

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