100 books like Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise

By Sean Taylor, Jean Jullien (illustrator),

Here are 100 books that Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise fans have personally recommended if you like Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Life on Mars

Nancy Vo Author Of Boobies

From my list on with sideways humor and irony.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born where the sun rose in the prairies and set behind the Rockies. Now I live on the West Coast of Canada. I am a picture bookmaker, and from my recommendations, you might think that I also have a thing for thieves: cupcake thieves, underwear thieves, hat thieves, chicken thieves, pie thieves. But I’m really here for the element of surprise and well-earned laughs in children’s picture books. They say comedy is hard, but comedy in picture books is even harder. These five picks are a great place to start if you like smartly silly picture books with a bit of off-kilter humor and a sense of irony. Bonus points for puns.

Nancy's book list on with sideways humor and irony

Nancy Vo Why did Nancy love this book?

A hapless astronaut is on a mission to find Life on Mars and explores a seemingly barren landscape. The astronaut is unaware of what is going on -- if only he would turn around! This becomes a source of great entertainment and an early lesson on irony. I enjoyed this book not only for the illustrations, which are well suited to this story, but more importantly for the way that the words do not match what is going on in the illustrations.

By Jon Agee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life on Mars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A daring young astronaut arrives on Mars, certain he will find life there. He has even brought a gift of chocolate cupcakes. But soon he realises he's made a mistake as the planet seems to be totally barren except for one little flower. However, as only the audience can see, if only he would turn around he would meet the friendly Martian who is always lurking shyly one step behind! As he settles in for the journey home, he cracks open his cupcakes-only to discover that someone has eaten them all! Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Jon Klassen will love…


Book cover of Brief Thief

Nancy Vo Author Of Boobies

From my list on with sideways humor and irony.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born where the sun rose in the prairies and set behind the Rockies. Now I live on the West Coast of Canada. I am a picture bookmaker, and from my recommendations, you might think that I also have a thing for thieves: cupcake thieves, underwear thieves, hat thieves, chicken thieves, pie thieves. But I’m really here for the element of surprise and well-earned laughs in children’s picture books. They say comedy is hard, but comedy in picture books is even harder. These five picks are a great place to start if you like smartly silly picture books with a bit of off-kilter humor and a sense of irony. Bonus points for puns.

Nancy's book list on with sideways humor and irony

Nancy Vo Why did Nancy love this book?

This book has so many things going for it, including the inimitable pairing of Escoffier and Di Giacomo (see their other book collaborations). Brief Thief is full of wit, charmingly illustrated, and deliciously fun to read aloud using the voices of a lizard and his conscience. Yes, there is potty humor, but it is arguably more about problem-solving and doing the right thing. Even the title is clever – the lizard was a thief briefly, and it was briefs that he stole. The last two wordless spreads are priceless.

By Michaël Escoffier, Kris Di Giacomo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brief Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Witty, humorous illustrations of great charm tell this story of conscience and mistaken identity as thoroughly as the book's delightful text. Here a lizard takes the liberty of using what seem to be some old underpants when he runs out of toilet paper. What he doesn't count on is that his own conscience and an outraged rabbit will be watching.


Book cover of I Want My Hat Back

Amanda Noll Author Of I Need My Monster

From my list on humorous picture books from someone who loves funny kid books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never actually stopped reading children’s literature. Even as a grown-up, I figured out a way to read picture books every day. After earning a master’s degree in education, I found myself back in the library reading to students. I love reading funny books; they are more engaging and more likely to get kids reading and keep them reading. I love humor and think it is perfect in the shorter format of picture books. 

Amanda's book list on humorous picture books from someone who loves funny kid books

Amanda Noll Why did Amanda love this book?

I love the subtle humor in this book. I also love the pattern and rhythm of the dialogue.

When the story circles back to the natural conclusion, I use the characters’ reactions and expressions to have children infer what really happened, who stole the hat, and how the problem was solved. 

By Jon Klassen,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked I Want My Hat Back as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A bear searches for his missing hat in the bestselling, multiple award-winning picture book debut of Jon Klassen.

In his bestselling debut picture book, the multiple award-winning Jon Klassen, illustrator of This Is Not My Hat and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, tells the story of a bear who's hat has gone. And he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no (some more elaborately than others). But just as it he begins to lose hope, lying flat on his back in…


Book cover of Chicken Thief

Nancy Vo Author Of Boobies

From my list on with sideways humor and irony.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born where the sun rose in the prairies and set behind the Rockies. Now I live on the West Coast of Canada. I am a picture bookmaker, and from my recommendations, you might think that I also have a thing for thieves: cupcake thieves, underwear thieves, hat thieves, chicken thieves, pie thieves. But I’m really here for the element of surprise and well-earned laughs in children’s picture books. They say comedy is hard, but comedy in picture books is even harder. These five picks are a great place to start if you like smartly silly picture books with a bit of off-kilter humor and a sense of irony. Bonus points for puns.

Nancy's book list on with sideways humor and irony

Nancy Vo Why did Nancy love this book?

You know those car chase movies? Well, this is a picture book version featuring animal chases. The Chicken Thief defies stereotypes in a fun wordless sequence. The reader sees that a fox has stolen a chicken and is being pursued by potential liberators. And the reader might worry that foxes like to eat chickens! Wait for the surprise ending.

By Beatrice Rodriguez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chicken Thief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chicken Thief


Book cover of Owl Moon

Theresa Heine Author Of Chandra's Magic Light: A Story in Nepal

From my list on the sun and moon from around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a British writer of children’s books and poetry. The books I've chosen are picture books with vibrant illustrations, instantly pulling the reader into the story. The fascination children have with the sky, the planets, and stars, I discovered with my own children, and now my grandchildren, who gaze, star-struck, at the moon through the windows and doorways. As an ex-teacher I've found that books with a story will appeal to children who are discovering cultures other than their own. There are many picture books with sun and moon stories like the one in Chandra’s Magic Light, and I've chosen those I find particularly appealing, as a mother, grandmother, and teacher.

Theresa's book list on the sun and moon from around the world

Theresa Heine Why did Theresa love this book?

Owl Moon is the poetic story of a young girl who, long past her bedtime, is going owling with her father on a winter’s night. It’s an adventure for the girl as she and her father, almost in silence, crunch over the crisp snow searching for the Great Horned Owl. The woods are lit with a winter moon "whiter than a milk in a cereal bowl." Eventually, their patience is rewarded as the owl lands on a branch right on the tree they are standing under. The father lifts the little girl, who is tired from the whole adventure, and they walk home. The beautiful watercolor pictures enhance the spare lyrical text, the dark woods lit by moonlight, and the brightness of the snow. It is a lovely text to read aloud, a plus for parents and teachers, and the relationship between father and daughter as he holds her hand…

By Jane Yolen,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Owl Moon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don't need words. You don't need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn't an owl, but sometimes there is.

Distinguished author Jane Yolen has created a gentle, poetic story that lovingly depicts the special companionship of a young child and her father as well as humankind's close relationship to…


Book cover of I'm Not Santa!

Constance Lombardo Author Of Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork

From my list on hysterically funny picture books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve worked with kids in preschools and elementary schools, (plus I’m a mom!) and to me, nothing is better than hearing kids laugh. I also just adore picture books and treasure my personal library, with its focus on (you guessed it!) humor. Sassy cats, bears who want to have kids for pets, chickens who interrupt, alphabets overrun by frustrated Zebras, picture books bravely go where other books might only tiptoe in a cowardly fashion—into the world of wild imagination and anthropomorphized everything. With amazing artwork!! Let’s be honest, I’ll choose funny picture books over War and Peace every time.

Constance's book list on hysterically funny picture books

Constance Lombardo Why did Constance love this book?

One of my favorite picture books ever of all time, I’m Not Santa features an exceptionally cute owlet. He’s the same guy from I’m Not Cute (but he is!!) except this time he’s out in the snow at Christmas time, wearing a red cap and pulling a sled. So, of course, when Baby Owl runs into Baby Hare, the little hare sees the red cap, mistakes the sled for a sleigh, and cries, “Santa! It’s you!” Baby Owl insists, “I’m not Santa! I’m an owl!” Baby Hare refuses to believe it and starts to cry. Soon they’re both crying, until the real  Santa shows up to talk some sense into these two. Sweet and totally hysterical! 

By Jonathan Allen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I'm Not Santa! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 2, 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

Baby Owl is back in this follow-up to the highly successful I'm Not Cute!and I'm Not Scared! Baby Owl is taking a Christmas Eve stroll though the woods with his sledge, when Baby Hare mistakes him for Santa. "I'm not Santa!" Baby Owl insists, and a comic Christmas tale unfolds. 'Absolutely hilarious' - Kirkus 'Made me laugh out loud ...a delight' - The Observer


Book cover of The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin

Donna Howard Author Of Bright-Eyes, Bushy-Tail, And The Nutty Narrows Bridge

From my list on nutty squirrel tail tales.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I fell in love with picture books and the magical, whimsical worlds they opened! I recall snuggling up and listening to these tales being read to me. Later, after a bit of a struggle, I learned to read myself. From there, there was no stopping me. My library card was my most treasured, most loved possession! I quickly moved on to chapter books, then to novels, but never outgrew my love and passion for picture books! As a former teacher and now great-grandparent, I treasure the opportunity to usher children down the rabbit hole of reading!

Donna's book list on nutty squirrel tail tales

Donna Howard Why did Donna love this book?

I am recommending this book because I fell in love with it as a child.

First, those beautiful watercolor illustrations of pure whimsy and secondly, I secretly loved the mischievous squirrel Nutkin and his riddles. As an adult, I love cuddling with my family's nutkins and sharing a laugh and a lesson on the sly.

There is just something special about sharing with your grandchildren a book you loved as a child!

By Beatrix Potter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin is an original classic by Beatrix Potter.

Beatrix Potter's famous tale of a naughty squirrel who loses his tail is as popular today as it was when it was first published over 100 years ago. Join Nutkin, his brother Twinkleberry and all his cousins as they make their way over to Owl Island to gather nuts. See what happens when Old Brown, the terrifying owl guardian of the island decides he has had enough of silly Nutkin's cheekiness! Ouch!!

Beatrix Potter is regarded as one of the world's best-loved children's authors of all time. From…


Book cover of It's Owl Good: The Super Adventures of Ollie and Bea 1

Chrissie Krebs Author Of Bizard the Bear Wizard

From my list on graphic reads for young reluctant readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I was obsessed with comics, whether it was Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, or the Far Side, I would devour every one I could get my hands on. I discovered the joy of observing two storylines – the one the writing was telling me and one that the pictures were telling me. As I became a teacher, I realized the importance of pictures and stories working together to keep students engaged. The resurgence of graphic novels has now been a focus for me in my pedagogy practices as well as my pathway as an author-illustrator. 

Chrissie's book list on graphic reads for young reluctant readers

Chrissie Krebs Why did Chrissie love this book?

This gorgeous early reader/comic series is full of illustrations to assist young readers with their comprehension of storyline.

There are themes of friendship and kindness as well as learning through discovery and mistakes is a wonderful message for young readers that are finding the journey of literacy comprehension a little trying. Also, the puns in the books are awfully good. 

By Renee Treml,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It's Owl Good as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Come with Ollie and Bea on a HARE-raising adventure with a HOPPY ending!

Ollie is an owl who wears glasses. And Bea is a bunny with very big feet. They don't know it yet, but they are about to be best friends. Can they help each other to find their OTTER-LY awesome inner superhero?

Join Ollie and Bea in this charming, funny, cute story about the joys of making friends and having fun. The perfect book for young readers who love to laugh.


Book cover of Owly: The Way Home

Raea Gragg Author Of Mup

From my list on graphic novels for reluctant readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, there was nothing I hated more than reading. Struggling with dyslexia and learning disabilities made books miserable and the distractions of screens didn’t help. However, everything changed when I discovered graphic novels and comics! That led to a newfound love of stories and books (especially graphic novels) which took me on a journey of not being able to read at age ten, to publishing my first novel at age fifteen. Since then, I’ve written and illustrated children’s books and young adult novels, but Mup is my first graphic novel. This has inspired me to create more graphic novels designed specifically for those who are just like me – reluctant readers.

Raea's book list on graphic novels for reluctant readers

Raea Gragg Why did Raea love this book?

A nearly wordless comic about a cute little owl who goes on adventures and meets new friends. Not only is Owly adorable – but it’s practically wordless. This series is perfect for an early reader who wants to start reading graphic novels on their own. Its non-intimidating approach makes it a great start for any reluctant reader. Plus, did I mention that Owly is super cute? 

By Andy Runton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Owly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

All Owly wants is a friend...

Owly is a good-natured little owl, and he's always helping those around him. But despite his kindness, he seems to frighten would-be friends away before they even give him a chance, just because he's an owl. That all changes, though, once Owly meets Wormy. Like Owly, Wormy is in need of a good friend, too -- someone who can be counted on for a helping hand, a good laugh, and a great adventure!Through a unique blend of words and symbols, Owly can be read by the youngest readers, and is a great introduction to…


Book cover of Chouette

Jennifer Savran Kelly Author Of Endpapers

From my list on queer people on the edge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m endlessly fascinated by people’s resilience—how we hold onto life and find meaning in it when everything seems to be falling apart. As a queer and genderqueer author, I especially love to see stories about queer characters in all of their human messiness, characters who aren’t forced to be models of perfection in order to earn readers’ empathy, stories that show us queer people don’t deserve dignity because we’re perfect; we deserve it because we’re human. These five novels have affected me deeply because they don’t shy away from the complexities of grief, love, parenting, trauma, sex, social justice, gender identity, and more. 

Jennifer's book list on queer people on the edge

Jennifer Savran Kelly Why did Jennifer love this book?

Using the surreal premise that a human woman named Tiny gives birth to an owl, Chouette paints one of the truest and most beautifully messy portraits of motherhood I’ve ever encountered.

Chouette is not like other babies, and Tiny is nothing like other mothers. Holding tightly to her dream/memory of the female owl lover who impregnated her, Tiny embraces her life as the wild mother of a wild child, as she both struggles to contain Chouette’s most violent impulses and loves and protects her fiercely from everyone’s perceptions of what she’s supposed to be.

Chouette challenged my ideas and made me think more deeply about what it means to be a woman and a mother—as well as an atypical child—amid society’s rigid expectations.

By Claire Oshetsky,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chouette as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A MARVEL' RUMAAN ALAM
'MAGNIFICENT' NEW YORK TIMES
'A TRIUMPH' i
'SUBLIME' GUARDIAN
'DAZZLING' OBSERVER

When Chouette is born, Tiny's husband and family are devastated by her condition and strange appearance. Doctors tell them to expect the worst. Chouette won't learn to walk; she never speaks; she lashes out when frightened and causes chaos in public.

Tiny's husband wants to make her better but Tiny thinks their child is perfect the way she is. In her fierce self-possession, her untameable will, Chouette teaches Tiny to break free of expectations - no matter what it takes.

LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/FAULKNER AWARD


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