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)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's Finally Fall, and Our Owl is Back!

Our neighborhood owl is back!  A couple of nights ago I heard him:  the "hoo-hoo-HOO" of a Great Horned Owl, in one of the big trees just outside our window. Somehow, he knows it's fall...
(Illustration by Valerie Greeley)
Just like the owls, we are all thankful for cooler mornings and evenings here in Orange County!  We don't get freezing temperatures or huge amounts of fall color, but I love the deeper slant of the sun, and the still-warm breezes that scatter the fallen, dry sycamore leaves across our brick patio in the autumn.

That must be a cue for the Great Horned Owls to start looking for a mate - their breeding time is from October through December here in SoCal.  Below is a photo my son took at sunrise early one spring morning a couple of years ago, of two of them after nesting season was over.

Today I have to share an adorable children's book about owls! (you can also go here for my past post featuring other owl book recommendations.)

The book is Owl Babies, written by Martin Waddell and beautifully illustrated by Patrick Benson.  It's a story about waiting and reassurance...
And it is my grandson Peter's current favorite library book (my daughter told me he's checked it out three times!)  Last week I found a cute board book edition that came with a little stuffed owl, which I mailed off to Peter - he was quite ecstatic.

Toddlers and preschoolers can really relate to this simple story because, like most young children, the baby owls - "Sarah", "Percy", and "Bill" - miss their Mommy. Especially Bill, the youngest, whose only line (my grandson's favorite to chime in on) is: "I want my Mommy!"

The story starts as the worried owls wake up one night, in their little owl habitat (which the author describes perfectly), to find that their Owl Mother is gone.  They do lots of wondering and thinking - "all owls think a lot" - and waiting.  It's dark and things are moving all around them.  They have to be brave and stick together, and finally, just as they closed their eyes and began wishing... sure enough, "SHE CAME!"

Watch the charming animated version of the book below to find out what Bill's one line of input changes to at the end of the story...and Happy Fall, dear readers!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring my owl illustration. You might be interested to know that I have recently illustrated a Christmas book for Susan Hill. It also features an owl. The BBC are running a competition to set the words to music for a new Christmas carol.