Owl Babies
Format: Board bookChange
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book over two years ago, when my daughter was around 14 months and was just starting to visibly enjoy being read to. Two years later she still pulls it off the shelf sometimes and asks me to read it (usually around bedtime).
The plot is appropriately simple: Mama Owl goes out hunting for the night, and the three owl babies get progressively more worried and scared. When they have almost sunk into despair, mom comes home.
The illustrations are beautiful. Benson does an excellent job of evoking the fear of the wee owlets as they wait, and their exuberant joy upon mama's return. They are a perfect companion to Waddell's writing.
Waddell makes good use of parallelism. After a couple of readings, if you're child is verbal, expect her to be wailing "I want my mommy!" right along with you and baby Bill. Also, despite the brevity and simple vocabulary, one gets a real sense of the different personalities of the owl babies. As children's literature goes, this is a masterpiece.
Concurring with several other reviewers, I would agree that this is a great book to share with your kids if any of them suffer from separation anxiety.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
This is a terrific children's book. While the subject appears to be about baby owls, and it does cover a few interesting facts kids will like, there's more going on here. The book really addresses every child's greatest fear, being separated from a parent. The baby owls wake up and Mommy Owl is GONE!!! They confer with each other on where she could be, and they get more and more worried. But she returns at the end of the book, and assures them she will always come back.
The pictures are wonderful. Unlike most other birds, owls lay their eggs 2-3 days apart so the babies hatch on different days and thus are different sizes. My kids love how there is an oldest, a middle, and a youngest owl. They also like how the oldest tries to reassure the younger ones, and how the youngest always says the same thing.
The pale-yellow type on black is also neat, reminding kids that owls are nocturnal birds. The information says this book is for ages 3-7 but we read this to our kids before they were 2 and they loved it then and still love it now.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 1999
This is one of those "special" books that you won't mind reading to your little one over and over again. I find that a great children's book is a lot like a great children's movie; both the parent and the child enjoy it yet at different levels. Such a tender story of a little one's fear that their parent won't come home. However, the beautiful and touching illustrations almost steal the show! You can see the worry in the little owl's eyes and hear little Bill's anxious "I want my Mommy!" My two year old daughter loves the part when it's "dark" outside because the artwork truly conveys the dark; but not in a scary way! I loved when the oldest owl, Sarah, suggests that they all sit on her limb together. My favorite illustration is when the mother owl returns and the 3 little fluffy baby owls are jumping up and down. You'll snuggle a little closer to your child when you read this one together. Just the sweetest little book you and your special one will ever read!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2005
The editorial review and the aunt without children miss the point of this charming book -- Mommy may not always be right there, in sight, where you want her to be, but she will always return to you and your siblings. Turning to your siblings for comfort and support during this time away from Mommy is a good thing. Mommy doesn't "sneak out" -- Mommy Owl, like every other Mommy, must go and do things without her children at times, and they are not always aware of when she leaves. Hey, leaving the room to go make dinner constitutes "sneaking off" by my kids when they are too busy coloring to notice that I've left the room.

My 5 year old loves this book -- the repetition allows him to read parts of the story himself -- he has great delight in repeating Baby Owl's lines throughout the story.

Trust the reviews from parents with children who read this book together!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Based on positive reviews, I ordered Owl Babies for my 3 yr old daughter. The story is enchanting, 3 owl babies wake up alone and fret over their missing mommy owl. Of course, mom comes back and all is well. The art work is incredible, you will feel the need in the babies eyes as they wait for their mommy. We now read this book every night before bedtime, and it brings us to a very intimate point before the little one nods off to sleep.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 1999
I first came across this truly beautiful book when it was read on Teletubbies one morning. I cried! - and simply had to buy a copy for my little girl. Abby is now almost two and we read this book every night - often more than once. It is the most interactive book she has - she pulls sad faces and everytime Bill says "I want my mummy", Abby screws up her face and says "Ohhhh poor Bill!" When mummy finally comes home she is so excited that she too flaps up and down! She adores its. I couldn't recommend this book highly enough. Every child needs their own copy of this, Martin Waddell's and Patrick Benson's finest work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 1998
When we first received this book as a gift, the cover made me think we had yet another not-so-well-written book about animal babies. But once we read it I saw that we had received a treasure. A wonderful story, with a soothing rhythm and predictable words that our almost-3-year-old is learning by heart. A favorite bedtime read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
To see "Owl Babies," a board book by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson, is to love it for any young child. So, is it necessary to get to the children's section in your local bookstore, and page through the dozen boards that make up the double-page illustrations? Well, If convenience says no, or if you choose to stay right here, then by all means here's some help.

The book is simply very attractive for young eyes. And the approximately 6-inch by 5-inch size, combined with the sturdy boards, is what young ones can handle and handle and handle. Their eyes will love following the pictures as Mommy or Grandma or Big Brother or Sister reads the story. Pretty soon they'll be speaking, or "reading," the whole thing as the pages are turned.

Such pages! "The pictures make it," you might say. If all the paragraphs were typed, they would likely not fill one screen. Yet I cannot imagine the words without the scenes, nor the scenes without the words. What a tender combination. "The words also make it," one must add.

The very first scene is with the three baby owls, and yes they are right there with their mommy, in their house, which is a hole made cushiony in a big tree. The owl eyes do have it. Those eyes, wide and somewhat startled, looking a bit tentative, especially Bill's, the littlest owl. He seems to be nudging as close as he can to his mother, and she is looking protectively down at him.

Well, the three babies wake up in the night, and looking out through the hole in the tree all they can see is the sky. And the stars. Mommy Owl is not there. The two older babies think (and the author reminds us that owls are always thinking) they know why mommy is away. Getting food. Little Bill is most concerned, all he wants is his mommy.

The three babies venture out of their house and wait on the tree branches. They huddle together and think of good things that mommy can be bringing back. But they worry about her getting lost or meeting a fox. And they wish. They wish for her to come home.

And she does! "Soft and silent," she swoops down through the trees. There is much joy and flapping and bouncy dancing.

Will a young child get scared on the first reading of the book? Perhaps so. Yet we recall many traditional tales have scary parts. For the first time, a reader could turn immediately to the page where mommy is back, and then start from the beginning. But that shouldn't be necessary. A reader can always adopt an affectionate and nonscary voice. In a short time the young child will have memorized the whole story. A lovely book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2005
My two-year-old daughter loves this book. Her preschool recommended it, and when I first saw it, I thought she might be frightened by it. Not the case. She loves reading it at night before bed, and she talks about it during the day. It teaches a great concept: Mommy comes back. It's and easy read with repetition (which kids love), and the illustrations are different than most children's books. She loves looking at the "owl babies" and especially loves the drawings of the Mother Owl. I highly recommend this book for your toddler and/or preschooler!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2006
Received this book as a baby gift and loved reading it to my son. Now that he has started preschool we read it as a book about separation anxiety. I was a bit concerned that the owl's imagining something bad might have happened to their mom would scare my son. However, I think that many kids worry about just that and it is important to acknowledge this and also reassure them that Mama or Daddy will come back. Get the board book version for endurance as this book will be read over and over again.
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