Children’s Hour: Owl Babies

Children’s Hour is a new feature here at Lucybird’s Book Blog every Thursday where I’m looking at children’s picture books. As I work in a nursery I get plenty of opportunities to look at picture books, and to see what the kids think of them so it really makes sense to use those experiences.

I’d love to hear everybody’s experiences of the books I review too, and feel free to post me a link to your own reviews, I’d love to make this a bit interactive.

The image (if you were wondering) is taken from Shirley’s Hughes’ Alfie and Annie-Rose books which I loved as a child.

I’m starting off with a book I knew as a child and re-encountered when at the nursery. Owl Babies is a favourite amongst the children in Toddler and Pre-school rooms to the extent that owls are the only birds most of my toddlers can actually name by their name rather than just as birds! The story is pretty simple, three baby owls, Sarah, and Percy and Bill wake up one night to find their Mum is not there. Gradually the owls become more and more anxious as they wait for their mother to return. This actually makes it a good nursery book. It’s not unusual in a nursery for children to be anxious about their parents but it shows that they will come back, and that there are others who love them.

It’s a beautiful book. The pictures are lovely (I especially like the one of the mother’s return). It’s fairly repetitive in style of how each page is laid out (“The owls thought (all owls think a lot), …said Sarah,…said Percy, ‘I want my Mummy’, said Bill”) this makes it easy to keep the children engaged and for them to be able to join in, some of our children can even ‘read’ Owl Babies for themselves! It also makes it easy for me to read it to a large group of children, I pretty much know the story off by heart, and this make it easy for me to look at the children as well as at the book which helps keep them engaged…and I can make sure they are behaving!

Buy Owl Babies:

Paperback (£5.39)

Board Book (£3.69)


Filed under Children's Hour, Fiction review, Picture books

8 responses to “Children’s Hour: Owl Babies

  1. Eileen

    I love this book too, as does my DD! Since she read it at your place she mentions it often. i think, as you say, it resonates with her own separration anxiety. She seems genuinely worried when the owl babies can’t find their mummy.


  2. aww who couldn’t feel worried for poor Bill?


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  4. Toots

    This is one of my favourite children’s books. Children really identify with the anxious owlets, and I find you have to be careful not to make it too much of a tear-jerker when telling it. It has the power to bring a tear even to an adult’s cynical eyes. The return of the mum is on a par with the last scene in ‘The Railway Children’ (first film version) and the moment you discover Mr Rochester is still alive. Ohh…the age old story of love, loss and rediscovery (it’s even in King Lear, but with a tragic twist).


  5. Yes I suppose the owls all going “Mummy” and jumping up and down is a bit like Bobby running alobng the train platform shouting “Daddy! My Daddy!”

    We have to be careful reading it with new children now (having said that our book is not currently readable, for some reason the children have started to be careless).


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