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 he visit them and ask. When he does, the owls suggests he bring all his feathered friends to hear the reason for their happiness. Once the birds arrive, the owls begin to explain, season by season, the details of nature that lead 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 they go back to their farmyard life as before. The owls snuggle in for winter and look into one another’s wise owl eyes.

Hanna’s Comments: My library system has only one copy of this book, a 1964 publication, hence the much-loved quality you see in the photo above. However, it is easily purchased on-line, not terribly expensive, and has been reissued. I had never heard of this book which was published initially in Switzerland. I saw the video in the collection mentioned below and immediately knew it must be one of my PBT offerings. What a treasure! What a beautiful message of peacefulness 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, a blog that I have added to My Blog List here at PBT.

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.