★★★★★ Mr. Hoopeyloops and His Amazing Glass, written by Andi Cann and illustrated by Fabrice Bertolotto, tells the story of an odd man, known by the rest of his town as “Hoopy,” who doesn’t fit into the cookie cutter life that his neighbors all seem to share. He drives a beat-upred truck and stops to appreciate things like the sight of a really shiny window or a particularly well-shaped piece of candy. Hoopy can also be seen picking up sand in town and bringing it back to his barn, though no one is quite sure what he does with it. One day, however, the townspeople all receive mysterious invitations to attend an event at Hoopy’s barn. When they arrive, Hoopy reveals that he has been building an elaborate art installation in his barn that exists solely of gorgeous glass sculptures!
With Mr. Hoopeyloops, Cann and Bertolotto have collaborated on a truly beautiful children’s book. There are so many important lessons for parents and teachers to pull from this, like learning not to judge someone by their appearance or odd behavior, and taking a moment each day to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us in our everyday lives. The artwork is also exemplary, using both crisp constructive lines and softer edges around faces and backgrounds to guide young readers toward the story’s visual focal points. Mr. Hoopeyloops is a quiet but powerful picture book that culminates in an explosion of color and a strong teachable moment for children.