Hooray for Today!

Hooray for Today! illus. by Brian Won. 40p. HMH. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544748033.
PreS-K—Owl is "wide awake and ready to play," confident that "this will be a good, good day." Donning a hat, tooting a horn, waving balloons in the air, and sharing a storybook, she hopes to inspire her animal friends to join in some rollicking fun. Unfortunately, it is late and each one is too drowsy to participate, leaving a disappointed Owl to return home with head hanging low. Later, as the sun starts coming out, she finds them wide awake and ready to play. This time, she is the weary one and begs for a brief delay until after her nap, when she is again raring to go and announces, "HOORAY, LET'S PLAY!" In short rhymes, using plenty of simple repetition, Won's picture book is ideal for children having trouble surrendering to nighttime sleep. The subtle message is that there will be enough time to play—but only after bedtime. Won's opening background pages of dark midnight blue stands in stark contrast to the bright, vivid colors of the festive-looking Owl. This is followed by lighter violet hues as dawn approaches and the sun begins to rise alongside Owl's perkier, well-rested buddies. Children will giggle seeing Zebra with eyes tightly closed and forepaws against his ears while Owl toots a horn atop his head. They should pick up on the word HOORAY referring to more than Owl's happy-go-lucky attitude about celebrating a new day.
VERDICT A winning read-aloud sure to resonate best with preschoolers reluctant to bed down for the night and for ardent fans of Won's Hooray for Hats.

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