Sunday, January 3, 2010

Focus on Owls: Children's Books and Companion Crafts (Sort of)

I have been meaning to read Martin Waddell's Owl Babies for ages, after numerous recommendations from other bloggers (especially MaryAnne at MamaSmiles).  I added the second of these books, Wow! Said the Owl, to our "to be read" list after reading a review by another blogger also, but I can't remember who (was it you?). 

Owl Babies (Hardcover), by Mark Waddell.  Three owl babies wake one night to discover, much to their shock, that their mother is gone.  They try their best to wait for her, guessing as to her whereabouts ("'I think she's gone hunting,' said Sarah.  'To get us our food!' said Percy), but eventually their impatience turns to fear.  They huddle together on the same branch, as their minds race ("'Suppose she got lost,' said Sarah.  'Or a fox got her!' said Percy."  Throughout the ordeal, little baby Bill repeats a familiar refrain: "'I want my mommy!'"  Eventually, of course, their mother returns, with a great big, "'WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS? ... You knew I'd come back.'"  Patrick Benson's illustrations are lovely, somehow managing to convey a range of emotions in the little owl faces in the subtlest of changes.  A very sweet book.  I'm wondering if anyone's children have been scared by it?  (Ours was not).
"One night they woke up and their Owl Mother was GONE.  'Where's Mommy?' asked Sarah.  'Oh my goodness!' said Percy.  'I want my mommy!' said Bill.
Bookworm's interest at 2 years, 1 month: He seems to enjoy it, and has read through to the end every time that we have sat down with it.
Parent's Peeve: I would have liked if the author had included where the mother had been.

Wow! Said the Owl (Hardcover), by Tim Hopgood.  A curious owl decides to stay up all day, and is wowed by the colors around him - the pink of the morning sky, yellow sun, white clouds, green leaves, red butterflies, orange flowers, gray rainclouds, and a rainbow.  As night falls, she decides that although "the daytime is full of beautiful colors,""the nighttime stars are the most beautiful of all."  The text is short and sweet - a nice manageable length for toddlers.
"'WOW!' said the owl, as the pretty red butterflies flew by. / She watched them land on the bright orange flowers, which opened up in the warm sunshine."
Bookworm's interest at 2 years, 1 month: He enjoyed it, but wasn't particularly drawn in until we reached the last page, which features colored circles and asks the reader to go back through the pages and find them all.  Our little guy loves a good quiz.

 Another Owl Book I loved was Look Whooo's Counting (we reviewed it here).

Owl Crafts:

I had a few ideas for companion owl crafts.

First, we (Ok, I, but my son watched and directed) made this felt toy owl.  Can you see my invisible stitch lines?  That would be because I never finished it!   I like to think that left as-is, it is a sort of 3-d felt activity... an owl Mr. Potato Head, if you will.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Next, I decided that we would draw an owl face on a cake last week, using chocolate.  Can you see the face?  No?  Can you hear my son happily shouting, "No!  Just cake, no owl!"?  He is two.

Anyway, all is not lost.  You can find an adorable pinecone owl craft at Tired, Need Sleep and Silly Eagle Books.


Do you have any favorite books about owls?  Any owl crafts to share?  Comment and let us know!

You can read our other reviews of children's books about birds here.

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Christy said...

We LOVE Owl Babies. We made paper bag owls a few months ago. Here is the link with the books that we read:

maryanne said...

I've never heard of that second owl book. I never realized the mother owl doesn't say where she was - but one of the babies guesses that she might have gone hunting ("to get us some food" or something like that).

Your owl is cute, and just think how much more you are building his creativity by letting him add the features by himself instead of sewing them own =) And my kids would probably agree with your son on the cake.

There's a cute book about an owl and a lightning bug that my MIL owns, I'll have to see if I can remember what it's called...

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

The felt owl is super cute, and the cake looks yummy! No wonder he just wanted to eat it. It's so funny, whenever I think I've come up with something that M will just LOVE, it always turns out that he has a better idea. :) We love Owl Babies, and Wow, Said the Owl looks good too! Thanks for sharing!

Raising a Happy Child said...

The story of the owl on cake made me laugh - very funny! Anna liked "Owl Babies" OK, but she didn't like the fact that mama wasn't there when babies woke up. She didn't want to read it more than twice, I think. One story that we also liked was "An Owl Moon" - very poetic.

Britt said...

LOL. Love the crafts. The cake thing would totally happen at my house. :D

Those books both look really cute!

Christy said...

I gave you an award.

The girl who painted trees said...

That's too funny! I can't wait to be in the States to go to the library and try all these books you've been recommending!