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Review of Owl Sees Owl

godwin_owl-sees-owlstar2 Owl Sees Owl
by Laura Godwin; 
illus. by Rob Dunlavey
Preschool, Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.
9/16    978-0-553-49782-3    $17.99    g

In this elegantly simple picture book, a little owl leaves its nest and flies out into the deep blue night of the forest. Each double-page spread has just four words, each on a separate line: “Home / Mama / Brother / Sister.” As the owl flies along, some phrases describe the scene (“Stars / Twinkle / Mice / Scamper”), and other words convey the sensation of flying (“Soar / Glide / Swoop / Swoosh”). The very middle spread of the book changes the pattern, with just one word (owl), as the owlet lands on a branch hanging over water with the moon reflected below. On the next page, the sentence continues as the owl peers into the water: “Sees / Owl.” As the little owl flies back home, the words return to the previous four-word pattern, but are in reverse order: “Swoosh / Swoop / Glide / Soar,” all the way to the end: “Home.” Mice, deer, and richly colored autumn leaves and pumpkins enliven and add variety to the dark pages. The moonlit nighttime scenes are luminous and peaceful, with the endearing little white owl shown against a never-frightening night sky dotted with stars. This book, with its reverse text, has great bedtime appeal for younger children. It might also be enjoyable to new readers (who would gradually realize that the words were repeated).

From the September/October 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Susan Dove Lempke About Susan Dove Lempke

Susan Dove Lempke is a Horn Book reviewer and director of the Niles Public Library District in Illinois.

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