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Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,531 ratings  ·  277 reviews
Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl – oh no! – he’s a master of disguise! And he will use his expert camouflage powers to trick his unsuspecting prey into succumbing to him! Tiny animals of the night ... beware! But, somehow, Hoot Owl's prey keeps escaping... Hmmm, perhaps he isn't quite as masterful as he believes. Will he ever succeed in catching himself some dinner?
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by Candlewick Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,531 ratings  ·  277 reviews

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Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hoot Owl by Sean Taylor is a cute picture book for children. Hoot Owl spends the entire story swooping down for prey he can't seem to catch, until...

We loved the narrator, Rick Adamson. He really makes the story spark.

a juicy little lamb stands, helpless,
in the cool of the night!
The lamb looks cuddly,
but soon I will be eating it.

The illustrations are cute and we loved the ending.

Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
Hoot Owl narrates his nighttime search for prey in cliched super-hero voice over as he spots one potential meal after another, always failing to feast upon the hapless animals due to his desire to lure them into the trap of his cunning disguises rather than swooping upon them in the standard owl manner.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had never seen a noir picture book before.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Who, oh who is Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise? He's kind of a superhero, and kind of a spy, and kind of a comedian. First I nodded in appreciation at his cleverness, then I chuckled, then I finally hooted out loud. Hooray for Hoot Owl!
Aug 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Cute lil' book with pretty illustrations that are simple and colors that compliment them perfectly.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
A silly story of an owl that's trying to disguise himself in order to "catch" dinner. Illustrations are reminiscent of Bryon Barton.
There is so much that I adore about this little picturebook. I like the compact, almost square size which is a little unusual in picturebooks as well as the little owl himself who's like a little painted egg with overly large eggs and a tiny, rather insignificant-looking beak. The book as a whole is near-perfect in terms of picturebook format with a mutual (and I would say respectful) balance between words and pictures. Sean Taylor is an accomplished writer and illustrates himself but I am overj ...more
Amy Layton
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This book was super super cute. Our fourth graders loved it!
Hannah Higson
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, ks1, humour
This is an enjoyable book.
I like the irony that although Hoot Owl keeps saying that owls are wise and masters of disguise, yet owl struggles to catch any food.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shane Harcombe
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A cute book with a cute twist. Any book with owls is all right by me!
Helen White
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: junior-teen
Hoot owl was great. He is indeed a master of disguise - his best effort being an ornamental bird bath. Genius.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ks1, animals, eyfs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherry Philippus
So many things I love about this book! Dry, witty humor...figurative language that is easy to understand (this could be an outstanding mentor text for similes and metaphors)...bold, funny pictures that complement but don't overshadow the text. Love it and can't wait to share it. Some of the more advanced vocabulary will have to be explained (i.e. "ornamental birdbath"), but that's how kids learn! 4.5 stars
Megan Whalen
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book would be great for teaching figurative language to young children as the author uses lots of similes and metaphors. There's even an example or two of alliteration. Uncommon vocabulary in this book is also a plus. Words like devise, bleak, ornamental, and transform, which you don't normally see in picture books for young children, add to its effectiveness as a teaching tool. Really liked the illustration style too.
This is fun to read to a group too. Hoot Owl is hungry and disguises himself to catch his dinner. However, each of his disguises fail, and he keeps trying until he finally gets to eat...a pizza. I love the humor, repetition, and vegetarian ending. Kids learn a little bit more about owls and the plot development is spot on and engaging. The illustrations are simple and big.
Marissa Elera
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I cannot stop laughing at this book, and I know my storytime kids will get a hoot out of it too. The repetition, short length, and simple illustrations pair with the hilarious story to make storytime gold.
"Everyone knows owls are wise. But as well as being wise, I'm a master of disguise." Hilarious story about a cocky owl & his futile attempts to hunt. Bold, fun illustrations.

5 stars according to Emma.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Gorgeously designed and illustrated, with thick, bold lines and vibrant colors. An owl schemes how to get its next meal in this slightly scary, mostly humorous picture book. Great for kids who like main characters with lots of bravado.
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be hysterical and really fun to read out loud! Lots of nice vocabulary as Hoot Owl hunts.
Alison Criner
Hilarious! I love this book. And there is a lot you can do with it like similes, food chain, animal camouflage, habitats...
Jillian Heise
More humor than I expected from this story. Cute, funny, repeated phrasing will engage younger kids.
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture, kids, 2015
since when do owls eat lambs? but I guess this book isn't going for scientific accuracy lol. pictures are bold, story is okay, a little funny, but not enough to really make it fun.
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Syntha Green
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Perfect for storytime, alas I have 2 year olds and it is too long. 3-5 year old storytimers rejoice.
Ellen Zarate
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
super funny for older picture book readers!
Ellie Dougherty
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: insc-330-exam-2
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise was chosen as a Charlotte Zolotow honor book in 2016. I honestly cannot tell what medium was used to illustrate this book, but it looks like it may be done digitally, since there isn’t much texture and there are a lot of clean lines. I love the design of this book, which largely features a black background, bright, bold colors, and thick black outlines. I just really adore the simplicity. All of the illustrations are double page spreads with simple text that doesn’t ...more
Katie Siwa
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit, state-awards
“Hoot Owl is extremely hungry. In fact, he is so hungry that he has a plan to get some food. Listen to this: [Show page and read aloud] ‘Everyone knows owls are wise. But as well as being wise, I am a master of disguise. I devise a costume. Look- I disguise myself as…’ [Ask children] What do you think that Hoot Owl will disguise himself as in order to get some food? [Children respond] Well let’s see if you have guessed correctly. [Begin reading]”
In this opening, the teacher:
-Read some of
I'm really torn. I think this is a very cute book. It is fun and has a repeating theme. But it has the potential to be a bit menacing. The hungry owl keeps wanting to eat other animals, and I think that could be a little frightening for children. But, that being said, I think that if the book were read in a light-hearted fashion it would surpass the element of being menacing.

Big, bold illustrations without unneeded extras.
Age: Preschool+
Bird: Owl

Hoot Owl has the best intentions: to catch his prey and fill his hungry tummy. He's got the dedication. He has the sneakiness. He has the right spy mentality and uses big, mysterious words. one falls for it. Not until the last victim falls prey to his masterful disguises. Must be read in a lower, cooler voice to add extra fun.
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Sean Taylor started writing poetry as a teenager. In 1993, he came across a newspaper article which reported that a goat slaughtered in Iran had been found to have teeth made of gold. He tried writing a story for children. It was called 'The Goat with the Golden Teeth' and it won second prize in a competition run by the British newspaper 'The Independent' and Scholastic Children's Books. Since the ...more