Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cover Reveal for Hoot & Honk Just Can't Sleep by Leslie Helakoski

Hi, Leslie! Welcome to Watch. Connect. Read.! I am thrilled you dropped by to share the cover for Hoot and Honk and to finish my sentences.

Leslie Helakoski: Hello, Mr. Schu, I am tickled to be here. One of my favorite things is to Finish Other People’s Sentences! (Did you know this is actually considered rude in some circles?? )

Ha! It is never considered rude here. :) 


The cover illustration for Hoot and Honk Just Can’t Sleep was a lot of fun to create. I used pastel on sanded paper—a  medium I had not used for many years. Literally scribbling with pure pigment was reminiscent of playing with crayons and somehow helped me loosen up and work faster. Both birds, peeking over the edges of the cover, show the playfulness in the story and suggests some discomfort for the two characters. Indicating night fading to day was also important because this is a parallel tale of a nocturnal animal with a diurnal animal and includes opportunities to compare and contrast throughout.

Hoot is an owlet that hatches in a goose nest and cannot sleep during the night like the other chicks in the nest.

Honk is a gosling that hatches in an owl nest and cannot sleep during the day like the other chicks in that nest. Plus he doesn’t much care for what the owls eat.

Illustration Credit: Leslie Helakoski

On March 14, 2017, Hoot and Honk will fly into bookstores around the country and I will open a bottle of champagne and toast Sterling Publishers for bringing this story to life.

Picture books are an opportunity to connect with a young child.


Reading is a way to learn to love to learn.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what else are you hooting and hollering about these days?
I’m hooting about a long-awaited sequel to Woolbur that will be released in 2018. It is called Ready or Not: Woolbur Goes to School. And I have another Hoot and Honk waiting in the WINGS. (get it?)



Look for Hoot and Honk Just Can't Sleep on March 14, 2017. 

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