Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


When insomnia hits (which happens more frequently, the older I get!), I sometimes get up and work on my blog in the middle of the night.  Once in a while, just outside the window, I'll hear an eerie "screeech!"  I decided to google "owl calls" and found a website, THE OWL PAGES.  It has everything you'd want to know about owls, including both sound and photo galleries.   The owl screeching in our backyard was a Common Barn Owl.  (I discovered that Screech Owls don't actually "screech", they have a very lovely "hoo-hoooing" call.)

The downside to staying up late is that I miss lots of sunrises...but my husband and son, who are Early Birds, make up for it!  They went on an early morning walk last week and snapped some great pictures of two Great Horned Owls, up in a tree, watching the sunrise.  

Maybe I could get some tips from these "Morning Owls" on how to wake up after a night of no sleep!  They reminded me of some of the beautiful artwork by artist and children's book author and illustrator Valerie Greeley...
Visit Valerie's Etsy site, Acornmoon
One particular house we lived in years ago had rather interesting (and outdated!) wallpaper in several rooms when we bought it. An upstairs bedroom that was to be my daughter's was plastered in greenish-gold owls.  She was afraid she'd have nightmares with dozens of "owl eyes" staring at her all night and refused to sleep there until she'd helped us peel it off the walls.
This print, "Wisdom to the Nines",  by Rachel Caldwell had to have been
influenced by our retro wallpaper.  A little scary for a little girl, huh?

I love this Baby Snow Owl - you can find it
HERE on Etsy by Myko Bocek.
Well, all owls aren't scary and maybe our daughter wouldn't have been as squeamish, if she'd grown up reading some of these irresistible picture books about owls that I've discovered since then:

GOOD-NIGHT, OWL! by Pat Hutchins.  Will Owl ever get any rest?  His sleep is constantly disturbed by neighboring animal noises!  Just when it starts to quiet down, someone new lands in the hollow tree and wakes Owl up.  Your kids will love Pat Hutchin's artwork and the fun twist at the end of the story. (ages 2-5)
Good-Night, Owl!

WOW! SAID THE OWL by Tim Hopgood.  This is the story of a little owl who decides to take a nap one night in order to stay up all day and see what the world looks like by daylight.  She discovers all sorts of colors that are "WOW" worthy. (Preschool-1st grade)
Wow! Said the Owl

IN MY TREE by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich.  This cozy little book comes with a finger puppet owl.  Simple, sweet story - perfect for toddlers.
In My Tree

THE OWL WHO WAS AFRAID OF THE DARK by Jill Tomlinson, illustrations by Paul Howard. Howard's stunning illustrations give new life to the late British author's 1968 tale of an owlet frightened of the night. "The dark is scary," Plop tells Mommy Barn Owl, who wisely instructs him to learn a bit more about it before passing judgment. Soon, Plop is off to find new friends, both human and animal, who tell him their favorite things about the evening, from fireworks and campfire singalongs to viewing constellations.  Ages 3-up.
Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark

OWL MOON, by Jane Yolen. A girl and her father go owling on a moonlit winter night near their farm. They trudge through snow "whiter than the milk in a cereal bowl"; here and there a fox, raccoon, fieldmouse and deer, hidden in the shadows, watch them pass. An air of expectancy builds as Pa imitates the Great Horned Owl's call once without answer, then again. From out of the darkness "an echo/ came threading its way/ through the trees." I love that many of the water-color illustrations offer a bird's-eye view of the farmhouse and its surroundings, as if we're flying with the owl.  Ages 4-8.
Owl Moon

(Owl lovers, don't miss this CUTE website:  MyOwlBarn.com)


  1. So nice that you have owl in your neighborhood...keeps the mouse and mole population to a normal number! My parents have a Barred owl that lives near them. Neat to hear them calling and another one responging!
    In our classroom, we have this book:
    About a little owl who wants to go to bed EARLY like all of his friends...really sweet.

  2. Martha - now that sounds like a cute twist on a bedtime story! :)
    Thanks for recommending!!