Monday, March 23, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 338

Picture Book: Owl Babies

Author: Martin Waddell

Illustrator: Patrick Benson

Summary: Three baby owls wake up one night and are surprised that Mama Owl is gone. As the night continues and their fears grow, they huddle together to wait, and a pattern emerges in their thoughts and words because, “Owls think a lot”. Sarah, the largest and always the first to speak tries to be reassuring. Percy, the older brother, agrees with his sister. But baby owl Bill simply says, “I want my mommy!” Finally, when Mommy comes back, she reminds the three that she always returns. Sarah and Percy say they knew she was coming back. Bill ends the book with, “I love my Mommy.”  

Hanna’s Comments: I like this simple tale because it comically offers a very real problem for young children and considers their fears of abandonment tenderly and deliberately. At first the two older owls engage in encouragement, hope, and positive self-talk which are smart emotional approaches when afraid. Each of these represent faith in their Mommy. Then they huddle together which helps too, especially when you are imagining terrible possibilities. When their fears are expressed, their fears grow. Lastly, they close their eyes and wish their mother present. This is a sort of prayer. When Mama Owl arrives, there is much flapping and dancing in relief, a celebration. She offers reassurance. Sarah and Percy become a little self-defensive about their doubts. However, little Bill offers authentic and loving affirmation. Be sure to allow your audience to talk about how they respond to fear and what strategies are most reassuring for them. Tie in concepts of faith and prayer when you can. 

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Candlewick Press, 1992

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Tablet, Audio Cassette, Video

PBT Category: Pre 2K 

PBT Topics this Book connects with:  affirmation, anxiety/worry, authenticity, babies/children, belonging, bonds/connections, bravery/courage, commitment, companionship, darkness/evening/night, dependence/interdependence, doubt, emotions/feelings, encouragement, family, fear, hope, love, mothers, parents/parental love, perspective, prayer, presence, reassurance, security, unity, waiting  

Scripture Connections: Be strong and courageous; do not be terrified (Joshua 1:9); oh most high, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you… (Psalm 56:2b-4); the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. (Hebrews 13:6)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this picture book to a group of young children in a lesson on fear and how to rely on God through faithful, positive self-talk and prayer.