Eco-Libris, a wonderful program where you can balance out the books you read by planting a tree, is offering a way to offset your purchase of the new Harry Potter. Send them a picture of you posing with a copy of any of the HP books, and you will get a chance to have trees planted in your name. The first fifty entries will get trees planted in their name: seven trees, one for each book. Then the best picture will get a free copy of the newest Harry Potter printed on 100% recycled paper.
Whooo’s There? by Mary Serfozo, illustrated by Jeffrey Scherer.
A rather grumpy owl patrols the night woods, asking “Whooo!” to every noise and creature it encounters. The deep blue of the cover continues through the book as the dark sky that frames each picture. The sense of darkness is given through the depth of the colors rather than any smudging or dark washes. This makes it very welcoming for small listeners. Children will get to see all sorts of creatures, including raccoons, skunks, bats, and a howling coyote. They are all presented as friendly, wide-eyed cartoons.
This book doesn’t have the same magic and mystery of Brian Lies’ Bats at the Beach, but it does offer a very friendly, basic look at night animals. I would recommend using this with toddler and young preschool audiences. It has a nice sense of humor, the rhythm of the text will make it accessible to even the youngest children, and there is the awe of being out in the dark. Even better would be to read it at an evening or pajama storytime. Then they can head home and see what critters may be out in their own backyards.