by Jane Yolen
Philomel Books, 1987
(from Publishers Weekly, 11/13/1987)
A girl and her father go owling on a moonlit winter night near the farm where they live. Bundled tight in wool clothes, they trudge through snow ``whiter than the milk in a cereal bowl''; here and there, hidden in ink-blue shadows, a fox, raccoon, fieldmouse and deer watch them pass. An air of expectancy builds as Pa imitates the Great Horned Owl's call once without answer, then again. From out of the darkness ``an echo came threading its way/ through the trees.'' Schoenherr's watercolor washes depict a New England few readers see: the bold stare of a nocturnal owl, a bird's-eye view of a farmhouse. In harmony with the art, the melodious text brings to life an unusual countryside adventure.
by Gail Gibbons
Holiday House, 2005
(from School Library Journal, 04/01/2005)
A colorful, factual look at raptors of the night, full of information tied specifically to the owls of North America. General facts on physiology, hunting tactics, digestion, habitats, and communication are offered, as is a section on mating, egg laying and incubation, and owlet development. A final page proffers further snippets on these birds. Gibbons's trademark watercolors provide lively renditions of a variety of these silent hunters. Not as species-specific or as detailed as Jean De Sart's handsome Birds of the Night (Charlesbridge, 1994) and slightly more informative than Jim Arnosky's excellent All about Owls (Scholastic, 1995), this is a bright addition to owl lore for younger readers.
-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY School Library Journal, A Reed Business Information Publication.
by Kathryn Lasky
(from School Library Journal, 05/01/2004)
In this second book in the series, Soren and his band of owls have escaped the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls and go in search of the mythical Great Ga'Hoole Tree. When they finally arrive at the tree, they find themselves in a Hogwarts-like school where owls are divided into "chaws," or small teams, that focus on particular skills such as navigation or search and rescue. By the end of the book, Soren has learned the fate of his lost sister, discovered that he has some unique powers, and has lost his new mentor, leaving things wide open for the next installment. The story flows nicely and has a certain appeal that carries readers along, despite the sometimes-jarring addition of unnecessary owl poetry. Lasky's fully realized world is full of traditions based on the actual habits of owls, but this is still a world in which owls can read and write. Fantasy readers will enjoy the adventure, but the book will appeal mainly to fans of the first volume in the series.
-Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ School Library Journal, A Reed Business Information Publication.
All about Owls
by Jim Arnosky
(from School Library Journal, 10/01/1995)
Arnosky's curiosity about wildlife has once again resulted in a wonderfully enticing book for young naturalists. Just as he did in All about Alligators (Scholastic, 1994), he draws readers in with a life-sized six-page spread - this time depicting a Great-horned Owl. The conversational tone of the text is simple but never condescending, with a logical flow that covers owl biology and behavior while focusing on the species that live in North America. The detailed watercolors will charm even the staunchest fans of nature photography. The display of a dozen owls from different habitats drawn to scale, the insets that describe their eyes or fetuses - these are the illustrations that bring science alive. The owl swooping through a dark forest, its calls haunting the night- these are the paintings that will appeal even at story time. If you're looking for strong photography, pair this with Michael George's Owls (Child's World, 1992). But for easy nonfiction with style and charm, it's all about Arnosky.
- Susan Oliver, Hillsborough County Science Library at MOSI, Tampa, FL
Night science for Kids : exploring the world after dark
by Terry Krautwurst
Lark Books, 2003
(from School Library Journal, 03/01/2004)
This attractive and informative collection of activities provides ample background material before sending readers out into the dark. Introductory chapters explain the reason for the night and make recommendations for equipment, clothing, and safety practices. The bulk of the book focuses on the behavior of nocturnal animals, birds, and insects. A subsequent chapter covers observing the night sky. The closing section discusses dawn and dusk. Activities are interesting, informative, and within the abilities of young readers. Adult help is specified when needed, as in building an owl house. The writing is clear and readable, with a light and sometimes humorous tone. Outstanding full-color photos illustrate the projects well, and depict a good mix of boys and girls. With its combination of nighttime zoology and astronomy, Krautwurst's book is more advanced than Pamela Hickman's The Night Book (Kids Can, 1999), and its information on astronomical phenomena is similar to that found in Graham Dolan's The Greenwich Guide to Day and Night (Heinemann Library, 2001).
-Jeffrey A. French, Euclid Public Library, OH School Library Journal, A Reed Business Information Publication
by Bert Kitchen
(from School Library Journal, 06/01/1999)
A detailed look at the seldom-seen life of a barn owl, this book follows a breeding pair throughout a year of hunting, feeding, courting, mating, nesting, and raising their young. The lyrical text is as lovely as Kitchens beautiful, naturalistic illustrations. The night scenes feature shades of deep blue and gray, with the luminous owls standing out against the darkened skies. The interior barn scenes are done in soft browns and golds. Children will find the realistic images appealing enough to pore over, and they will enjoy hearing the words read over and over. Those needing information for reports will find the basics here, accurately presented. An outstanding offering.
- Eunice Weech, M. L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
by Kim Taylor
Dorling Kindersley, 1992
(from Kirkus Reviews, 10/15/1992)
One of four new additions to the intelligently conceived and beautifully executed "See How They Grow" series (simultaneously published: Butterfly; Foal; Far). Here, an appealing barn owl is depicted--in splendid close-up color-photo images against the publisher's trademark white--hatching and then at one, three, six, eight, ten, and twelve weeks, when he is "almost full-grown" and able to fly and hunt. Taylor catches the appealing young owl and his parents in many poses, including several in flight; the pictorial information is extended with still more detail in meticulously draw borders (by Jane Cradock-Watson) that show, for example, 16 stages of the chick hatching. A last double spread, plus endpaper recapitulation of the borders, summarizes the presentation while dramatizing the owl's growth. Excellent nonfiction for the very young.
- Copyright 2003, VNU Business Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Owls : whoo are they?
by Kila Jarvis , Denver W. Holt, Leslie Leroux, and Courtney Couch
Mountain Press Pub. Co., 1996
(from School Library Journal, 12/01/1996)
A wonderfully user-friendly book that presents a vast amount of information. From various views of these birds of prey in ancient times to an explanation of their asymmetrical ears, from hunting habits to nesting habitats, 19 species of owls are discussed. Each double-page spread presents the topical text on the verso opposite a glorious full-color illustration or anatomical close-up drawing or diagram. While the fact-filled text and the biologically correct illustrations make this an excellent reference book, the format is also inviting to browsers. Relevant terms are highlighted and definitions are provided in the glossary. Anyone not familiar with these magnificent raptors, and those who are already fans of owls, will thoroughly enjoy this educational and delightful book.
-Helen Rosenberg, Chicago Public Library, IL
Animal lore & legend-owl : Owl American Indian legends
by Vee Browne
Grades PreS-Gr 3
(from School Library Journal, 03/01/1996)
A rare and welcome combination: American Indian legends paired with factual information on the habitats, species, food, characteristics, Indian names, and attendant spiritual qualities of owls and buffalo respectively. In each book, three traditional tales are retold by a native writer, helping youngsters to understand the connection between storytelling and the natural world. Watercolor paintings accompany the stories while full-color photographs and museum reproductions appear within the informational texts. Indian designs add continuity to page layout. Large typeface, simple language, and generous trim size insure accessibility. These books are unique, attractive, and fill a need.
- Jacqueline Elsner, Athens Regional Library, GA