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With the Wisdom of Owls Paperback – August 20, 2010
The latest book club pick from Oprah
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As Baby Harry is conceived, an owl circles overhead, almost as a harbinger of an unprecedented event. Sure enough, Harry's parents swear he looks exactly like an owl but hope he will grow out of it. What they don't realize is that Harry also thinks like an owl, talks like an owl, and speaks many owl dialects flawlessly. In fact, the owls who visit him daily make more sense to Harry than his parents, grandparents, or the adults who populate his world. The three semi-wise owls who mentor Harry's first year of life are:
* Wyatt, Harry's godfather, a Heath bar loving, homily spouting owl who gets high on reading the book of Isaiah;
* Shy Clayton, a soft spoken owl who finesses his fellow owls and Harry through awkward situations;
* Metcalf, the brains and brawn of the group.
According to Harry, being a human baby is the most boring job in the world. When his owl mentors aren't visiting, Harry entertains himself with the humans around him. He soon discovers that adults aren't completely useless and can even be amusing if properly trained. The adults in Harry's world include:
* Sweetheart, Harry's mother, perhaps the most perfect human who ever lived, the devoted provider of food and comfort.Read more ›
OWLS is the story of life viewed totally from the crib of our protagonist: a unique, owl-faced child named Harry. Now there's a reason for that owl-face. He acquired it under mysterious circumstances. A trio of owls visit Harry on a regular basis after his birth and speak to him in 'owl-speak', a language that is gratefully translated into English by Mr. Yoho. One owl is his godfather, Wyatt and the others are his `owlcles' - Shy Clayton and Metcalf. They are a very entertaining and somewhat ethereal part of the tale. Wyatt often sports a toothpick in his beak which is something you may take note of on the book's cover. With their appearance comes the major question posed by the book - will Harry become an owl or stay a human baby? The problem here is that Harry would rather do neither. He wants to crawl back into the womb!
And who can blame him? He's surrounded by human characters whom he can describe in sordid detail because although he's a baby, he has the mouth, the wit and the wisdom of Max Yoho behind him. He speaks his mind....all the time. Here's a quick sample when Harry experiences first love in the crib with Sweet Little Girl who is placed next to him. They both react by spitting up on each other -
"Amid snickers of "They say love has to be messy to be good," Sweet Little Girl and I were stripped and scrubbed. And we lay naked, side by side without a tinge of embarrassment, as happy and sweetly innocent as were Adam and Eve on their first day in the garden.Read more ›
I loved one line in it so much that I put it on Facebook (but maybe only another writer will appreciate it): ". . . her beauty mark failed in the only thing ever asked of it." Max is brilliant at twisting words and creating images that stay with you.
Read this book for a little wit, a little wisdom and a lot of fun!
Beautifully written, Max, and keep up the great work!