A small barn owl embarks on a solo journey by night in this quietly enchanting reverie. Godwin (One Moon, Two Cats) traces the owl’s explorations in a single poem composed of four-line, four-word stanzas: “Home/ Mama/ Brother/ Sister/ Tree/ Nest/ Hop/ Look.” Midway through the owl’s travels, after it has flown past “Fall/ Leaves/ Red/ Yellow” and mice scampering over pumpkins, it spots its own reflection in a stream (“Owl/ Sees/ Owl”), and the poem’s mirrorlike structure is revealed; as the owl returns to its sleeping family, Godwin inverts the stanzas that appeared in the first half of the book, to almost palindromic effect. Working in a variety of media, Dunlavey (Over in the Wetlands) creates a sleepy rural landscape for the owl to traverse, shifting between close-ups of the bird, its white face aglow in the moonlight, and more distant views from above and below. It’s a story that finds a lovely balance between the joys of independence and the comforting security of home. Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2016 Release date: 09/20/2016 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.