This week, we began our first read-aloud chapter book (the kind that takes more than one night to finish!). The book we chose, Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat. For those of you who aren’t Canadian, you may not know that Farley Mowat is a Canadian classic novelist. His best known works include Never Cry Wolf and Lost in the Barrens. Owls in the family is a childhood memoir that recounts the unusual pets he collected as a child.
My son and I are thoroughly enjoying the book, which is told in an easy and readable voice and conveys the sense of engagement Mowat had with the natural world, even as a child. It was written in the 60’s, so, sure, it’s dated, but only in the way any classic is. It tells the tale of Billy, his 2 rescued owl pets (Wol and Weeps) and their adventures growing up together in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. If you’ve ever read Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, you’ll get the sense that it’s this kind of childhood he is lamenting the loss of. Owls in the Family could also spark a great discussion on animals in captivity. But, mostly, it is the perfect tale for a nature, adventure, owl-loving boy (and his mother).
Along the same lines, we borrowed, Adopted by an Owl by Robbin Smith van Frankenhuyzen and Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, from the library this week. Another tale of a rescued owl, this one tells the story of the unique friendship between a man and his owl. It’s told in picture book format, but appeals to the same age group as Owls in the Family (5 & up), as it’s still a longer tale. The illustrations are beautiful, as is the story of an owl rescued from an unfortunate pet situation. It makes for a nice afternoon read, and a great animal husbandry conversation starter.
We started our owl journey with a few classic owl picture books, among them, Owl Moon, which I’ve written about here, Snow Moon, by Nicholas Brunelle, and White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies. All three are tales of magical owl encouters that capture the magic of a night spent owling in the snow. Yes, there really is something magical about spotting owls in the snow. And, as we can attest, snow owls, are just as magical to spot (read about our encounter).
Reading over this list, I have to admit that either, we really are owl-crazy, or there really are a lot of wonderful children’s books that feature owls. Perhaps a bit of both? I’d love to hear about your favourite owl books. Any we’ve missed?
Have you had a chance to enter our contest this week?
Enter to win a handmade felt crown and ribbon wand. Perfect for creative play for all ages!
We’re linking up with:
Friday’s Nature Table at The Magic Onions