Friday 2 May 2014

Little Owl

Little Owl by Phillip Gwynne, illustrated by Sandy Okalyi (Working Title Press)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9781921504587
Reviewed by Vicki Thornton

Whoooo? Whoooo? Whoooo am I? asks Little Owl.

He has fallen from his nest and when he opens his eyes all he wants to know is who he is. He nibbles on a blossom like a sugar glider, hangs upside down like a bat, stretches out his neck like an emu and even puffs himself up like a spiky echidna…but he’s none of these animals. Eventually he hears an answering Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! in the night and is reunited with his mother.

This is a very cute book about identity and trying to belong. Little Owl tries so very hard but in the end learns who he really is…an owl.

The illustrations are bright, colourful and have a great sense of humour, adding a fun element to what could have been a traumatic story of a small, lost child.  

Okalyi’s ability to get personality into Little Owl is remarkable, and the way she morphs the owl almost, but not quite, into the animals he tries to become is very comical. I love his attempt at becoming an emu, very amusing.

This is an enjoyable story with simple repetitive language that looks at identity, belonging and being who you are. Ideal for pre-schoolers.

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