Wednesday, December 18, 2013

10 Things I Love About Owly by Andy Runton

Books 2 and 1

  1. The illustrations - They are so simple, yet detailed and absolutely adorable. I challenge you not to take one look at Owly's face and fall in love.
  2. No words - I am astounded that Runton is able to get across everything he does with virtually no words. The only real words in any of the 5 books I have read are in books that Owly and Wormy read.
  3. But speech bubbles - Because there are no words, you might think that the characters just don't talk. But they do! There are simple pictographs representing their speech making it something that a young child can follow and understand, but still developing a complex story that an adult can appreciate.
  4. Owly - He is such a gentle and kind soul. He is patient and caring and everything people should strive to be. A great role model for kids and a great lesson for those of us who are slightly older kids.
  5. Wormy - Owly's foil. He is so real. If Owly is the role model, then Wormy is most of us. Wanting to do the right thing, but not always quite making it, but always growing and getting better.
  6. The secondary cast of characters. The friends that Owly and Wormy make throughout the books are also very real. With everyone from the raccoon who runs the local nursery and is a fountain of information and advice, to the various bird families, the butterfly, the flying squirrel, and all of the other critters Owly meets there is always something fresh and new to enjoy and new friends to add to their lives.
  7. His little rain hat - I mean, come on. How adorable is this:
  8. The scrapbook - At the end of each book there is a glimpse into Owly's scrapbook with 'photos' he's taken. It's such a cute way to show a glimpse into the 'rest of the story' of what happens after the story we're reading ends.
  9. Books are good - I love the way Owly and Wormy turn to books whenever they have questions about the animals they meet. Books become a powerful tool in helping the birds, understanding the flying squirrel, and getting to know the Opossum - all without smacking you in the face about it.
  10. Runton doesn't avoid the tough issues - For a book that is, admittedly, sort of geared toward a younger audience, Runton tackles a variety of issues with tact and charm so the lesson comes across without feeling preachy. A handful of the topics I noticed were prejudice, friendship, sacrifice, fear, forgiveness, and determination.
So if you get a chance, pick up a couple of Owly books and fall in love like I did!

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