Hoot, a stuffed-animal owl, is Olive’s best friend. However, just because they are best friends does not mean they like doing the same things. Olive is tentative and likes to find her adventures in the pages of a book. Whereas, Hoot is keen on a little more action.
Today is Hoot’s turn to decide what to do with the day, and he chooses to take Olive on a real adventure. When Olive is afraid, Hoot tells her “I will be brave enough for both of us.” Even when the adventure goes awry and it seems like they might not find their way home, Hoot tells Olive, “we can never be lost” “so long as I’m here and you’re there, and here and there aren’t very far apart.”
But when Hoot gets hurt during their adventure, Olive knows she must step up her courage to help her friend. And this time, she is the one who is brave enough for the both of them.
The digitally colored pen-and-ink watercolor paintings are soft and dreamy, bringing this heartwarming story of friendship to life. And the gentle text encourages children to let their imaginations soar and embrace life’s adventures (to be brave even when you are a little afraid). The rewards are spectacular, especially when you have a best friend at your side to keep you safe.
Hoot and Olive’s story continues in Imagine That (Henry Holt and Co. 2019). In Imagine That, Hoot and Olive are ready for their next big adventure, but it’s raining outside. This means Hoot and Olive must stay at home and use their imaginations to create a whole new world. The problem is, Hoot thinks he might have lost his imagination. Luckily, Hoot has a best friend like Olive who doggedly encourages him to keep looking for his imagination and never give up. And when Olive remembers the secret ingredient to an imagination, she saves the day!
Jonathan D. Voss was a portrait artist and graphic designer before he became a children’s illustrator with Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh (Henry Holt and Co. 2015) by Sally Walker. He has a new book, The Wishing Balloons (Henry Holt and Co.), with a release date of April 12, 2022.
From the publisher:
A young girl named Dot is overjoyed when the moving truck arrives at the house down the street, and even more excited when a boy her age steps out, offering the prospect of a new friend.
But Albert looks sad, and he won’t reveal why. After many attempts to cheer him up, Dot walks away defeated.
That night, a balloon with a note tied to its string taps her window. Unfolding the note, Dot finds a wish that Albert has written. This is her chance to make Albert happy—she will (creatively) grant his wishes.
Though as each wish becomes harder to grant, Dot learns the powerful lesson that sometimes being a friend means waiting until the people you care about are ready to reach out.
In his webpage bio, Jonathan D. Voss says “I hope that joy and pleasure are found in the words I write and the pictures I make.” I believe he has already knocked that goal right out of the park! To keep up with Jonathan D. Voss’s latest news, sign up for his mailing list here, and find his books at an independent bookstore! I can hardly wait to read The Wishing Balloons!