Owl Moon

January 12, 2016 - Comment

Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird. But there is no answer. Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don’t need words.

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Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don’t need words. You don’t need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn’t an owl, but sometimes there is.

Distinguished author Jane Yolen has created a gentle, poetic story that lovingly depicts the special companionship of a young child and her father as well as humankind’s close relatiohship to the natural world. Wonderfully complemented by John Schoenherr’s soft, exquisite watercolor illustrations, this is a verbal and visual treasure, perfect for reading alound and sharing at bedtime.Among the greatest charms of children is their ability to view a simple activity as a magical adventure. Such as a walk in the woods late at night. Jane Yolen captures this wonderment in a book whose charm rises from its simplicity. “It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling.” The two walked through the woods with nothing but hope and each other in a journey that will fascinate many a child. John Schoenherr’s illustrations help bring richness to the countryside adventure. The book won the 1988 Caldecott Medal.

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Comments

E. R. Bird says:

Owling owling through the night I think it’s entirely possible that Jane Yolen may be the most prolific children’s author living today. Don’t believe me? Try clicking on her name to pull up a list of the books she’s written. Then take a gander at the literally hundreds (if not, dare I say it, thousands) of books alive today because of her. It’s a bit of a relief then that at least one of them won the Caldecott Medal. “Owl Moon” deserved it too. It is a sweet yet not overly sentimental tale about a nighttime owling trip taken by a girl and her father. In this tale we first get a spectacular view from above (owl’s eye view, I should say) of a small farm in the country. Two figures leave the warm home to tramp in the snow. The moon is brightly lit above so that (as the book says), “the sky seemed to shine”. The girl has never been owling before but she understands the rules intrinsically. One must be especially quiet on these occasions. Once in a while the girl’s father calls a deep,…

J.S.P. says:

Good Parenting and instills love of nature Owl Moon is a wonderful story of a young girl’s first hunt for the Great Horned Owl with her father. As they trek through the snowy forest, Jane Yolen’s text and John Schoenherr’s illustrations work together to create a realistic adventure and to express good parenting. The picture book comes to life through a peaceful countryside and a still forest. The child’s continual silence and concentration add to the hunt. Within the text the child says, “I put my mittens over my mouth and listened hard.” This displays her constant effort to remain quiet and to take the adventure seriously. Each illustration depicts a calm forest dominated by snow and nature. I feel that this book contains ideas that are “simple but not necessarily simplistic” much like Perry Nodelman’s analysis of children’s literature (221). For instance, in many scenes animals can be found hiding without the knowledge of the characters. The animals all sit calmly. This shows that the intent of the…

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