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Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza

Posted on Mar 16, 2011

Holly Clifton-Brown(Andersen Press)

Annie Hoot is a lovely kind little owl, albeit a bit scatty, who lives deep into the woods. She always gets really enthusiastic about things, and her new thing is knitting! And so she knits, day and night, all sorts of garments in all sorts of pattern. But the other owls are not interested in Annie’s creations but not to be deterred, Annie decides to go and find more appreciative animals for the lovely woolly things she has created. So off she goes in her (knitted!) hot air balloon for a trip around the world to meet all sorts of happy customers. But what will her pal owls see the error of their ways while Annie is gone?

This a really sweet picture book, with unusual artwork; Annie’s multi-coloured knitted patterns add to the bright illustrations. There is a lot of detail in the illustrations (take the parrot scene in the rainforest for example), which little readers will undoubtedly take great delight in pouring over. There is a lovely positive message about daring to do what you want even it makes you different and celebrates eccentricity. As the readers follow Annie on her world tour, young readers will also discover some insight in the habitats of several animals as Annie visits the rainforest, the African plains, and arctic regions.

I really enjoyed the quirkiness of this book. The story is totally “out there” and that is the beauty of it. Still, behind all the wackiness lies a true message of standing up for who you are, and acceptance. This is always a welcome theme in picture books and it is well crafted and delivered in this instance. 
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Here is a video of Holly Clifton-Brown talking about Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza:
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