For this week’s Marvelous Picture Book Monday, I wanted to discuss one of my forgotten favorites, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr. This Caldecott winner tells the story of a father and child going into the woods on a snowy evening to go owling for the first time. While Yolen tells a beautiful story of family bonding and adventure, what really stands out about this book are the pictures.
The colors and the details are so fantastic and capture the reader’s eye immediately, drawing children and parents alike to read this story over and over. In a classroom setting, this would be a great book to do a picture walk with. Giving the kids a chance to look through the pictures before hearing the story would help them to not only focus on the beauty of the illustrations but would help them to improve their skills in using picture cues to help with reading. It would also be a cool activity because at one point in the book the father explains how you don’t need words for owling, you only need hope, so giving the children a chance to experience the story without words at first would give them insight into the activities portrayed in the story.
I would recommend this book to children of all ages. It is a unique take on adventure and could open up so many possibilities for sharing and learning. I absolutely loved this book as a little girl, and can remember relating it to the snowy winters we experienced in New England and all of the activities I would do with my father. Definitely a great winter read!