cover image Owl Sees Owl

Owl Sees Owl

Laura Godwin, illus. by Rob Dunlavey. Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-553-49782-3

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. [em]Author’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Sept.) [/em]