Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 57

Picture Book: Owl Moon

Author: Jane Yolen

Illustrator: John Schoenherr

Summary: The narrator, a girl it seems in the illustrations, embarks on a family rite of passage. She and her Pa go owling which involves a walk of no words on an “owl moon” night into the cold woods. The sounds, sights, and mystery of the forest’s night are explored as the skilled Pa imitates the Great Horned Owl’s call, and they anticipate a sighting.    

Hanna’s Comments: This beautiful picture book celebrates the quiet love of a father and child as well as the possibilities of darkness and God’s nature. It also offers an example of what patience and a little bravery in a new environment might offer those willing to explore, even if holding the hand of one who is more mature. The narrator explains, “When you go owling you don’t need words or warm or anything but hope.” This quiet adventure can be a metaphor for many spiritual and theological explorations. I can’t help but recommend to you of one of my favorite spiritual writers, Barbara Brown Taylor, and her very recent book, Learning to Walk in the Dark.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Philomel, 1987                                                        
Age and Grade Appropriateness:  3 and up, Pre and up                                                   
# of Pages: 32                                                                                              
Available in Spanish? Not at present                                                          
Formats other than Book: Audio cassette, Audible, Amateur videos on

PBT Category: Pre 2K, Award Winner (Caldecott Medal)                                    

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: animals, attentiveness/observation/seeing, awe, beauty, blessings, bravery/courage, call/calling/vocation, darkness/evening/night, discovery/invention, exploration, fathers, flowers/leaves/trees, found, God’s nature, God’s presence, hope, journeys/pilgrimages/migration/quests, light/morning, listening, noise/sounds/voice, pacifism/peace/peaceful/peacemakers/peaceable kingdom, parents/parental love, patience, perseverance, presence, prevenient grace, quite/silence, reverence, safe place/sanctuary, satisfaction, searching, shyness, vision, waiting, wonder 

Scripture Connections: Be still & know (Psalm 46:10), Treasures of Darkness (Isaiah 45:3), The many times Jesus prays apart from the disciples

Idea(s) for Application: as an introduction to an adult small group’s study of Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark

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