Monday, October 20, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 184

Picture Book: The Happy Owls

Author & Illustrator: Celestino Piatti

Summary: A pair of owls lives happily all year long. Their neighbors, barnyard fowl, are constantly eating, drinking, and fighting. The preening peacock wants to know why the owls seem to always be content. The other birds suggest that the peacock visit the owls and ask. When the peacock asks why they are always happy, the owls suggest he bring all his feathered friends to hear the reason for their happiness. Once the birds arrive, the owls explain their attentiveness to and gratitude for the details of nature season by season. These practices leads to their happiness. They find joy and revel in the beauty of each season. What is the response of the barnyard animals? “What nonsense!’ and “Do you call that happiness?”  Then the fowl go back to their farmyard life as before. The owls snuggle in for winter, looking into one another’s wise owl eyes.

Hanna’s Comments: My library system has only one copy of this book, a 1964 publication. However, this classic has been reissued and can be purchased on-line. The price varies a lot so you may want to watch it for a while. I did not know of this classic which was initially published in Switzerland. When I saw the video version in the collection mentioned below, I knew it must be one of my PBT daily offerings. What a treasure! What a beautiful message of contentment as a result of attention and gratitude, what we would call “mindfulness” today. If you like old books and styles of art, then you’ll especially like this picture book. Find a blog post about it on The Art of Children's Picture Books, which I've added to My Blog List to the right.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Artemis Verlag, 1963

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Audible, A video version is in the collection Corduroy & More Stories about Caring

PBT Category: Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abundance/bounty, adoration, arguing, attentiveness/observation/seeing, awe, beauty, blessings, companionship, conflict, creation, discord, disputes/fighting/opposition, emotions/feelings, the environment/nature, gladness/happiness, gratitude/thankfulness/thanksgiving, greed/selfishness, joy, neighbors, openness, pacifism/peace/peacemakers, perspective, prayer, resisting evil, reverence, satisfaction, security, sin, unity, wisdom, wonder, worship

Scripture Connections: This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be thankful (Psalm 118:24); let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken and let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28)

Idea(s) for Application: Reverence is a difficult but important concept to teach children in a worshiping community. Use this book to help your children understand the benefits of being mindful of God’s generosity and reverent when worshiping.

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