Masters of Disguise

Today’s theme is: Masters of Disguise!

A favourite picture book of mine a few years back was Sean Taylor’s Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise – brilliantly illustrated by Jean Jullien, published by Walker Books.

The premise of the story is that a hungry Hoot Owl puts on a variety of disguises to try to catch something to eat. The problem (and the underlying joke) is … he’s just not that good at disguising himself, although he still insists he is!


You can watch and hear the author, Sean Taylor, reading his book here:

And you can also find some activities to download and print here:

If you can’t download these, why don’t you try to draw Hoot Owl yourself and put a disguise on him? What would you have him dress up as? Would he be successful?

Thanks to the Reading Agency for these resources! They have many more if you fancy exploring!


Apart from the fun and jokes (the book was shortlisted for the Scholastic Laugh out Loud Awards – the LOLLIES), what I also like are the comparisons in the book. For example:

  • “…I fly through [the night] as quick as a shooting star.”
  • “I swoop through the bleak blackness like a wolf in the air.”
  • “But I cut through it like a knife.”

These are called ‘similes’ and this is when you compare one thing to something else, usually by saying something ‘is as … as …’ OR something is ‘like’ something else. For example:

  • “She danced as lightly as a feather.”
  • “His eyes flashed like lightning.”


Can you come up with some interesting similes? They can be as inventive and crazy as possible! Let me know your favourites.

Similes – or comparing one thing to another

It’s fun to put these similes into your creative writing because they can bring it to life. Look at this very famous poem by Robert Burns – a Scottish poet.

A Red, Red Rose, by Robert Burns

O my luve’s like a red, red rose.

That’s newly sprung in June;

O my luve’s like a melodie

That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in luve am I;

And I will love thee still, my Dear,

Till a’the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my Dear,

And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:

I will luve thee still, my Dear,

While the sands o’life shall run.

And fare thee weel my only Luve!

And fare thee weel a while!

And I will come again, my Luve,

Tho’ it were ten thousand mile!

There are some unusual words in there, too, aren’t there – and spellings! Luve, instead of love. But it’s a ‘luvely’ way to compare how much the person in the poem loves his beloved. Who wouldn’t want to be compared to something as beautiful as a flower?


Try to write a poem or a descriptive piece of writing where you compare one thing to another. It doesn’t have to be a love poem! It could be something really funny, or scary.

Other masters of disguise

This all has got me thinking about other masters of disguise in children’s books. Superheroes are often good at adopting different looks and identities – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, amongst them. Beyond them, I am struggling to think of more off the top of my head, and without my lovely library stock to browse through.

Do you have any suggestions?

Ah – my daughter has just come up with Roald Dahl’s The Witches! They dress like ladies and wear wigs and gloves to look normal but underneath, they look rather more unpleasant.

What’s great about disguises is that the character can pretend to be someone else. For example, Clark Kent is the shy and clumsy day-to-day version of Superman. He can be two different people at once, which must be an interesting position to be in.

Image result for clark kent and superman side by side


Create your own Master of Disguise or Superhero! What do they look like? What is their special power? Write a description of them and draw a picture. OR you could create a comic strip! I’ve added a template you can download or copy.

Watch this quick video on how to create a superhero featuring the master behind Marvel, the late Stan Lee:

Create your own Superhero on Marvel’s website!

Research a famous superhero. Pick one of your favourites – or if you don’t have any, take a look at them on the internet. Find out when they were created and by whom. What is their special power … and ultimate weakness?

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