Review: This Is Owl by Libby Walden and Jacqui Lee
This is Owl, except Owl isn’t in the mood to interact with the reader. Tickle his tummy to wake him up, tilt the pages to help him catch an insect and flap the book to help him fly. Follow owl through the night and find out why he is too busy to play.
A delightful picture book which involves the reader in every part of the story.
Different page sizes bring an extra dimension to this book. See owl in the tree then turn the smaller pages to look at the details. Insects on the branches and other birds hidden in the leaves.
Bright illustrations stand out against a dark background. I love how apparently simple shapes are made striking with shading and texture. It reminds me of a fuzzy-felt world brought to life by vivid imagination. This is the sort of book I would pour over in an art-gallery bookshop. It is modern and playful and full of character.
As a story, it is very conscious of its narrator, its character and its audience. It would be a brilliant story for introducing readers to the different people involved in a story and to talk about the difference between a narrator and a character. It is also a great read aloud. Stories were once told around the fire, and storytellers were aware of the need to keep their audiences engaged. This would be lovely to share as a bedtime story or to enact with a larger group of children. The actions could be adapted to suit the size of the group. For example, one or two children can draw a circle on the page, but a larger group could draw circles in the air.
I am always a fan of Libby Walden’s work, and it is interesting to see her working with Jacqui Lee. The result is a wonderful book which will bring storytime to life, and I would love to see more from this author/illustrator pairing.
Many thanks to Little Tiger Press UK for my gifted copy of This Is Owl. Opinions my own.