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Owl Babies [Board book]

Martin Waddell , Patrick Benson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 8.00
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Book Description

Oct. 7 1996
The bay owls came out of their house,
and they sat on the tree and waited.
A big branch for Sarah, a small branch for Percy,
and an old piece of ivy for Bill.

When three baby owls awake one night to find their mother gone, they can't help but wonder where she is. Stunning illustrations from unique and striking perspectives capture the owls as they worry about their mother: What is she doing? When will she be back? What scary things move all around them? Not surprisingly, a joyous flapping and dancing and bouncing greets her return, lending a celebratory tone to the ending of this comforting tale. Never has the plight of young ones who miss their mother been so simply told or so beautifully rendered.

Frequently Bought Together

Owl Babies + A Book of Sleep + Peek-A Who?
Price For All Three: CDN$ 22.74

  • A Book of Sleep CDN$ 7.59
  • Peek-A Who? CDN$ 7.55

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

New to board book format is Martin Waddell's Owl Babies, in which three worried owlets wait for their mother to return from her night flight. Patrick Benson's disarming cross-hatched pictures of fluffy, wide-eyed owl babies, and the use of light colored text against a black background, turn this sweet story into a hauntingly lovely little book. (Candlewick, $6.99 22p ages 18 mos.
2 yrs. ISBN 1-56402-965-4, Oct.)
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-- This simple story pales in comparison to the exceptionally well-crafted illustrations. Rendered in black ink and watercolor with an abundance of crosshatching used to show background, shadow, texture, and depth, each stunning woodcutlike panorama fills a double-page spread. Benson has chosen shades of turquoise, pale yellow, and light green for the large-type text in order to avoid detracting from the blue-and-green dominated paintings. Realistic as they appear, the three, fluffy, white baby owls and their mother are infused with distinct personalities. The owlets awaken one night to find their mother gone. Sarah, the largest, reasons that she is out hunting for food. Mid-sized Percy tends to agree, while tiny Bill will only repeat, ``I want my mommy!'' Mom, just out for a night flight, does return, of course, and her fledglings are delighted to see her. The repetition just doesn't work. The plot is too meager, the text too unexciting. Hutchins's Good Night Owl (Macmillan, 1991), Thaler's Owly (HarperCollins, 1982), and Yolen's Owl Moon (Philomel, 1987) are all better stories for preschoolers. Simple, well-written books about mother love and reassurance for this age group are abundant. --Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Board book
This is one of those "special" books that you won't mind reading to your little one over and over again. I find that a great children's book is a lot like a great children's movie; both the parent and the child enjoy it yet at different levels. Such a tender story of a little one's fear that their parent won't come home. However, the beautiful and touching illustrations almost steal the show! You can see the worry in the little owl's eyes and hear little Bill's anxious "I want my Mommy!" My two year old daughter loves the part when it's "dark" outside because the artwork truly conveys the dark; but not in a scary way! I loved when the oldest owl, Sarah, suggests that they all sit on her limb together. My favorite illustration is when the mother owl returns and the 3 little fluffy baby owls are jumping up and down. You'll snuggle a little closer to your child when you read this one together. Just the sweetest little book you and your special one will ever read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars who doesn't love baby owls? Jan. 23 2002
By audrey
Format:Board book
Bill and Percy and Sarah wake in the night to find their Mommy has gone. At first they are sure she will come back, but as time passes they all become a little worried. They think. They worry. They spread out. They huddle together. And after a while, Mommy comes home.
This is a nice book to help little ones deal with separation and worry, or a good read for animal lovers or kids who are afraid of animals. The illustrations of these wide-eyed little creatures are heartwarming. A good snuggle book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very fun book to read with one's children May 30 2003
Format:Board book
I bought this book over two years ago, when my daughter was around 14 months and was just starting to visibly enjoy being read to. Two years later she still pulls it off the shelf sometimes and asks me to read it (usually around bedtime).
The plot is appropriately simple: Mama Owl goes out hunting for the night, and the three owl babies get progressively more worried and scared. When they have almost sunk into despair, mom comes home.
The illustrations are beautiful. Benson does an excellent job of evoking the fear of the wee owlets as they wait, and their exuberant joy upon mama's return. They are a perfect companion to Waddell's writing.
Waddell makes good use of parallelism. After a couple of readings, if you're child is verbal, expect her to be wailing "I want my mommy!" right along with you and baby Bill. Also, despite the brevity and simple vocabulary, one gets a real sense of the different personalities of the owl babies. As children's literature goes, this is a masterpiece.
Concurring with several other reviewers, I would agree that this is a great book to share with your kids if any of them suffer from separation anxiety.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whooooooo will like this? Your child! Aug. 31 2002
This is a terrific children's book. While the subject appears to be about baby owls, and it does cover a few interesting facts kids will like, there's more going on here. The book really addresses every child's greatest fear, being separated from a parent. The baby owls wake up and Mommy Owl is GONE!!! They confer with each other on where she could be, and they get more and more worried. But she returns at the end of the book, and assures them she will always come back.
The pictures are wonderful. Unlike most other birds, owls lay their eggs 2-3 days apart so the babies hatch on different days and thus are different sizes. My kids love how there is an oldest, a middle, and a youngest owl. They also like how the oldest tries to reassure the younger ones, and how the youngest always says the same thing.
The pale-yellow type on black is also neat, reminding kids that owls are nocturnal birds. The information says this book is for ages 3-7 but we read this to our kids before they were 2 and they loved it then and still love it now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ALL OWLS THINK A LOT Dec 17 2000
Format:Board book
Those big round staring eyes of an owl certainly strike a chord with most of us. Their almost human expressions seem to tell us that they are something special.
The three little owls in "Owl Babies" are certainly intelligent creatures. They soon realise when Owl Mother has gone she must be off hunting for food. Big sister Sarah keeps their morale high when doubts arise about their mother's safety. Little Bill can only say, "I want my mummy".
When they begin to fear the worst (foxes loom large in their imagination) they close their eyes and wish Owl Mother would come home. Their faith is rewarded for soon " softly and silently she swooped through the trees to Sarah, Percy and Bill". Isn't that great alliteration and imagery?
The pictures that accompany the story focus on the expressions of the three owl babies. Since it is night time we don't see much beyond the safety of their tree. The pen-and-ink drawings of our feathered friends are superb. Those droopy little pink beaks and big brown eyes have a strong plaintive appeal.
"Owl Babies" will be a rewarding book for all readers. The strong two-way bond between parents and children could not be better expressed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my daughter's bedtime favorites Nov. 23 2002
By A Customer
Format:Board book
It's hard to say more about this wonderful book -- just wanted to add that my 23-month old has loved it for the past two months and I know this has to do with her presently intensified separation anxiety. Lovely story, artful evocative illustrations. One of my favorites to read!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Young to old - Owl Babies grows in your heart
t's hard to say more about this wonderful book -- just wanted to add that my 19 year old can to this day remember the book if I say "I want my mommy. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K. Tilley
5.0 out of 5 stars So charming!
These little owls will steal your heart. The illustrations are sublime. This is for me the perfect children's book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lori S. Lukasewich
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible story
We read to our daughter all day every day and we purchased this book because of the high reviews. But after reading it ourselves, we were incredibly disappointed. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jenna
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story
I've been reading this story to my daughters since they were two years old. They are now five and we still read it. It's a great story with good illustrations. Read more
Published on Nov. 7 2008 by KA
5.0 out of 5 stars One of our favorites
I really love this book a lot. It is touching and sweet. I read it to my son on a regular basis from early on. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2005
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrified Owl Babies
The beautiful artwork in this book doesn't mask a storyline that is way too upsetting for a young child. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a two year old
We started reading to our daughter very young, which she always enjoyed, but this was the first book we read where she clearly followed the narrative. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2003 by D. Adler
5.0 out of 5 stars Calm fears - and a cute little brother
Our three kids love this book. Particularly hearing the fear in the littlest owl's wishing for his Mama's return, and his joy at her arrival.
Published on Oct. 6 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A book review on Owl Babies
This story is about 3 baby owls that wake up in the middle of the night and their mummy has gone.
My favourite part of the story is when mummy comes back. Read more
Published on June 30 2002
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