So elusive that even if you live in the country mostly all you get is a ghostly hoo-hooo in the very late evenings or very early mornings, owls are amazing creatures. The sheer size of the great horned owl is awe-inducing. Here on the farm, we become aware of their presence when a chicken or rabbit mysteriously disappears overnight. I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but we only cage our rabbits when they are pregnant. We release mama and babies into the yard when the babies are about half grown. I love rabbits. I can’t stand to see them in cages. So we have a large fenced area by the barn where they are able to dig burrows and nibble grass and really live. Mostly without fear of predators. But the downside of all that freedom is that owls can swoop into the yard at night and snatch them up. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. And don’t even talk to me about raccoons.
Owls make for a great study. There are so many books about them, so many characters based on them… you can even purchase owl pellets to examine in your homeschool. If you don’t know what those are, they’re the clump of bones and fur an owl spits back out after it eats an animal whole, keeping only the good stuff to digest. There are so many amazing things to do when studying owls. So here are a few really good books to include in your owl study. You know, to make them seem less like rabbit thieves and more like the majestic creatures they really are.
Jane Yolen is one of my favorite authors. She writes so man different things for children, she can’t be put into a genre. Owl moon is about a father who takes his child ‘owling.’ That is, looking for owls under the moonlight on a clear winter night. One of the things I love about this book is that it is told from the child’s point of view in the first person, and it never reveals the gender of the child. So whether you have a boy or a girl, he or she can relate to the child as his or her own gender. A cool touch to a truly lovely book. The story is told in free verse, and the imagery is there even without the simple, haunting illustrations by John Schoenherr. Just don’t be surprised if your little asks you to go owling. So dress warm.
This cute book, told in rhyme, has perhaps the most expressive owl I’ve ever seen. The grumpy guy hates being the only person up at night. He wants a friend. But the is moon only other thing awake all night like he is. Thing is, he’s stuck down here, and the moon is stuck up there. What’s an owl to do? I think your littles will enjoy looking at illustrations as much as they will enjoy the story, and this book definitely reminds them how different life is for nocturnal animals.
This beautiful book is one of our favorites. The Littles made me read it to them over and over for years. Not that I minded. It is a slow-paced, sparsely worded poem set against a backdrop of gorgeous illustrations. It’s actually a great bedtime story because of its pace, but don’t doubt that it will engage your littles any time of the day. It makes the owl even more mysterious than we already think it, and a little mystique is a good thing.
The owl in this tale is mean and frightening (but he would be from the eyes of a mouse. Mouse is a delicacy for owls.) but he also Has The Answers, as any good owl would do. I don’t know why owls became a symbol of wisdom in our culture, but it makes for some interesting characters. Like the Tootsie Roll Pop owl. Who is very cool. This book could spark discussions about owl diet and habitat, and maybe even get your littles interested in researching the folklore about owls. Not too shabby for a story about a bunch of rats.
This is the first book in a series of 15. We read it several years ago, and were fascinated by all the information we picked up from it about owls. It actually sparked our first owl pellet dissection, and we were just reading it for fun. It’s about Soren, a young owlet who gets pushed out of the nest by his greedy older brother (my doves do this, so there’s really a basis in reality). Rather than getting mauled by a predator, Soren gets picked up by mysterious owls who take him to St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, and there his adventures begin. When he realizes there is something very wrong in the school, Soren and his friend have to fight against the teachings and discover what is going on. Lots of owl science here, as well as a look at human nature and politics.
This amazing environmetally-charged book is about Roy, who moves to Florida and discovers a mysterious running boy. He follows the boy, curious as to where he’s always running. What follows is an adventure in anti-development. Roy and the running boy team up to stop developers from destroying the habitat of burrowing owls. This is great for discussions about being kind to the environment and protecting habitats and species that sometimes get pushed aside in the name of progress. Plus, it’s big fun, and your littles will enjoy the antics of the boys as they try to stop the construction of a new pancake house.
I could probably go on about owl books all day. I mean, I didn’t even mention my favorite owl, Owl. But if you don’t know how much I love the Pooh books, then you need to subscribe and keep reading. (It’ll probably get annoying, even. haha)