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Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin. Illustrated by Rob Dunlavey. Schwartz & Wade, 2016

A little owl leaves his mama, brother, and sister sleeping in their nest and ventures out one night on his own. The entire story is told with just four words per page. “Stars Twinkle Mice Scamper” is accompanied by luminous illustrations that track the owl’s journey, conveying the quiet wonder of the moonlit night. When the owl lands on a log over a body of water, he looks down and sees his own reflection. This is the only time the four-word pattern is broken in order to heighten the dramatic moment: “Owl / Sees Owl.” The little owl then returns home, his journey described with words from the previous pages in reverse: “Scamper Mice Twinkle Stars,” for example, and, finally, “Sister Brother Mama Home” in a book that is lovely both visually and textually. (Ages 2–4)  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Try these early literacy activities with children:

  • Read: The poem “Quiet in the Wilderness”
  • Talk: About the colors, animals, and nature that the children see in the pictures (for babies and toddlers); talk about the mirror image of the poem in the book (for preschoolers)
  • Sing: Find the song “Nocturnal” by Billy Jonas at your library or online and sing along.
  • Write: Your name and think of words of things you like that start with each letter with the help of a grown-up.
  • Play: Have a mirror for kids to see themselves like Owl. Make expressions. Pretend to be an owl.
  • Math or Science: Talk about nocturnal animals. What animals would you see at night in the woods?

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