Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoennher

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This picture book is simply a timeless masterpiece.

A Caldecott award winner in 1987, Schoennher’s painted illustrations are rich with deep, blue hues and sparkling white snow that you can practically hear crunch under the footsteps of the father and child. The art is both exquisite and realistic, characterized by detailed and colorful depictions of the pair in their snowyImagesetting. Schoennherr’s woods are not ominous but welcoming, as the child tries and succeeds to be brave on the outskirts of a dark forest. The bright colors of the child and Pa contrast beautifully with the pristine white of the snow. Moreover, the words of the story are perfectly placed on the pages, providing the most conducive reading experience for a child who won’t want to stop turning the pages. The book is full of splendid similes such as: “The trees stood still as giant statues” which beckon children to imagine what it is like to go owling. Indeed, Schoenherr’s majestic illustration of the Great Horned Owl is powerful and mighty, and serves to remind children of the great force of nature. Parents will enjoy the powerful simplicity of the prose in conjunction with the gorgeous illustrations, and children will want to return to the book again and again as they grow older. Finally, Owl Moon is a “positive family story” according to author Jane Yolen. It depicts a father and child embarking on a special journey together.

Recommended for ages 5 (with parent) to infinity

Reviewed by Katherine Klockenkemper

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