In my first installment of Books and Board Games, I paired a picture book with a really heavy strategy game. This time, I thought it might be more fitting to pair a children’s book with a children’s game, and owls were just the thing that came to mind.
Hoot Owl Hoot
Hoot Owl Hoot is a cooperative board game published by Peaceable Kingdom for kids ages 4+ (though I think younger kids would be able to play it as well). Peaceable Kingdom publishes a bunch of cooperative games and the ones we have at my library are really popular (We have Snug as Bug in a Rug, Race to the Treasure, and Hoot Owl Hoot).
The goal of Hoot Owl Hoot is to get all the owls back to the nest before the sun comes up. Players have hands of cards that either move the sun along the sun track, making the day come closer, or that move the owls along a colored owl track. If a player has a sun card, they must play it so the players can’t choose to simply delay the sunrise.
One of the unique thing about this game that reinforces its cooperative nature is that players all keep their hands face up so that they can see the potential moves that others can make and can strategize together to get all the owls home.
I really appreciate the simple design and bright colors of this game. Cooperative games are a really great place to start introducing young kids to strategy gaming because they can focus on the fun of gaming and learning about simple strategy without the disappointment that can come with losing a competitive game. I recommend our cooperative games frequently and my goal is to add more of them (probably more Peaceable Kingdom games) to our collection next fiscal year.
Hoot and PEep
I actually got the idea for this blog post when a signed print of art from this book came into my possession. Hoot and Peep are both adorable owls and I love the way that Lita Judge uses color in this book.
Sound is also a super important element in this book as Hoot explains to little sister Peep that Owls say Hooo and only Hooo! Yet Peep breaks the mold by making delightful non-owl noises as they fly about at night.
Given that one of Hoot Owl Hoot’s instructions directs players to Hoot anytime they fly over another owl, it could be fun to incorporate some of the noises that Peep makes into game play. Perhaps a “Schweeepty Peep” anytime you fly over another owl could connect this book directly to game play.
Little Owl’s Night
I couldn’t resist picking a second book for this post because Little Owl’s Night is so cute. Divya Srinivasan’s picturebook follows Little Owl as he wakes from his sleep and explores the night before returning home to fall asleep.
This would make a really fun read aloud before playing Hoot Owl Hoot. You could then imagine that the owls in the game were having a similar experience to Little Owl and talk about all the things that they might see on their way back to the next before sunrise.
Do you have favorite children’s games that you’d like to see paired with books? Let me know in the comments!