Grade Level Equivalent:
Guided Reading Level:
Outdoor Activities and Recreation, Winter Themes, Parents, Curiosity
A young girl and her father take a nighttime stroll near the farm where they live to look for owls. It is a beautiful night, a moonlit winter night. Bundled tightly against the cold, they trudge through the pristine snow, "whiter than the milk in a cereal bowl." As they go, hidden in ink-blue shadows, a fox, a raccoon, a field mouse and a deer watch them pass. A delicate tension builds as the father imitates the great horned owl's call once without answer, then again. Finally, from out of the darkness "an echo/came threading its way/through the trees."
Author Yolen has given the very youngest readers an understated vignette, completely from real life. The young girl, in fact, is based on her own daughter. There is nothing overtly fantastical here. But John Schoenherr's Caldecott Award-winning watercolor paintings have made the familiar wonderful and strange. From his brush emerges the bold stare of a nocturnal owl, and farmhouse seen from the point of view of one. A beautiful picture book, infused with poetry, which is perfect for reading aloud again and again.
Jane Yolen has written more than 200 books.