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Owl Babies - Martin Waddell

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  • Encourages awareness
  • Lovely rhythm to the prose and quality artwork
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      24.08.2014 20:57
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      • "Useful tool to teach that mum will come back"
      • "Encourages awareness"
      • "Lovely rhythm to the prose and quality artwork"

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      “Because all owls think a lot.”

      Owl Babies

      Words by Martin Waddell & Picture by Patrick Benson

      Published by Walker Books Ltd

      “Because all owls think a lot.” I first came across this picture book by Martin Waddell when I bought a copy for my daughter on or around her first or second birthday. Now she has children of her own and this is a firm favourite bedtime read once again.

      The story is about three owl babies Sarah, Percy and Bill who wake up to find their mother gone! The beautiful stunning artwork and wonderful rhythmatic prose ensure that this book soon becomes a firm favourite. Supplied in hardback or glossy covered paperback our versions are both the latter. The book is probably an American quart size, it is squarer and slightly chunkier but not much smaller than A4.

      The prose flows with a happy rhythm and the catchphrases are lovely and poignant, smallest baby owl Bill tends to wail “I want my mummy” a lot and of course the wonderful “all owls think a lot”.

      A typical page:

      ‘“Where’s Mummy asked Sarah
      “Oh my goodness” said Percy
      “I want my mummy” said Bill’
      (Waddell, 1975).

      The stunning artwork incorporates many of the subliminal themes present in picture book and graphic art, when the story is scary the colours are dark and foreboding, when the tone is a little brighter such as when Sarah is telling Bill it will be alright, the moon is brighter and there is more green. For example when their owl mother was first gone there is foregrounding of dark branches and leaves and all around their tree is dark. However, as she returns the moon is bright and bold in the background.

      This was a favourite book of my little girls that led her to always love owls, now I smile as she reads it to her own children. They love it so much and as they learn the words, they all come back to me too! It is a charming book, teaching young children about prose, poetry, art and birds as well as the main theme of mum being gone. The quality of the artwork is outstanding and can be appreciated by most critical adult. The owls are cute and cuddly and it is cleverly set that Sarah is the biggest, Percy in between and little Bill is much smaller, thus impersonating a realistic family unit.

      Owl babies is a perfect choice for children approaching nursery school or even infant school or whose mother is returning to work – because owl mummy comes back and all is well. Designed as suitable for pre-school age children, I am aware that some schools utilise it with low ability children in the lower years of school life.

      The paperback version is slightly glossy and maybe it’s because they are so cherished? But our copies have lasted really, really well and my daughters original copy is actually kept away from the children!
      Price & Availability:

      Owl Babies was first printed in 1975 and is still widely available. A quick look on Amazon shows the paperback at £4.49 and the hardback at £6.89 new. Also available used from Amazon as cheap as £1.75 and from all outlets that stock Walker Books.

      In conclusion, I love this book, it is an absolute favourite and I highly recommend it.

      5/5
      Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed a nostalgic trip or will consider buying a copy if you don’t know the book already.

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      11.11.2010 14:18
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      A great book for young children

      Owl babies is a book I was familiar with from being a nursery nurse prior to having my son. We actually received the book free in my son's bookstart pack which was I was delighted with as I really have always liked the book.

      The book is written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson and I am not familiar with any of their other books should there be any. The book was first published in 1992 by Walker books.

      The cover of the book shows three baby owls sitting on a tree branch. The owls are all slightly different in size and so there is a small, medium and slightly larger baby owl which I imagine illustrates their slightly different age or something. The owls on the cover look quite worried but wise in my opinion and I think this is an excellent portrayal by the illustrator. The lovely illustrations continue throughout the book.

      The story is about three baby owls: Sarah, Percy and Bill. Sarah seems to be the eldest of the babies and quite wise where as Bill is the youngest and comes across as quite nervous and worried. When their mummy goes hunting one night and leaves the babies they wake up and wonder where she is:

      "Where's Mummy?" asked Sarah
      "Oh my goodness!" said Percy
      "I want my Mummy!" said Bill

      The owls begin to question where their mummy can be, what she can be doing and if she will come back. Throughout the story Bill always says "I want my mummy!" which is nice as it is a phrase even young children can remember and will be able to join in with.

      Of course at the end of the book the mummy owl returns from hunting and we hear Bill say "I love my mummy!" which is incredibly cute!

      The writing style in the book is simple and repetitive at times but I really like this. As so many of the words are repeated throughout the book my five year old son can read the book to me on his own which gives him a great sense of achievement and makes me so very proud.

      I have enjoyed reading this story with my son for a few years now and it is still one that he will often choose for us to read together. I really like this story as I just think it is very cute that the baby owls look after each other whilst still wanting their mummy to return. I would certainly recommend this story to any parent with young children as I think it will become a certain classic-it already is one in my eyes and I give it a full five stars.

      Thank you for reading my review!

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        13.06.2010 12:29
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        A lovely book for young children.

        Author: Martin Waddell
        Publisher: Walker Books ltd
        Date of publication: 1992


        Owl babies is a beautifully illustrated children's book which is perfect for children aged 1 to 8 years old as it has a simple story line and big attractive illustrations. The story focuses on the three owl babies; Sarah, Percy and Bill who are waiting for their mother to come home from a hunting trip. The story tells their thoughts and feelings while they wait for her to return.

        The story addresses feelings of loneliness and attachment, which can be used to lead into discussions of how the children might have felt similar feelings to the characters and would therefore, be ideal for use at circle time in schools. The plot is very simple and the language follows a fairly repetitive pattern which makes it easy for young readers but also good for analysis by older children. The book would be ideal for young readers lacking in confidence as the words are not too complex.

        The plot is quite simple and basic but also quite emotive and particularly younger readers will want to read on to find out what happens although I have read it to one child who became quite upset during the story so watch out for that!

        There isn't a great deal of description of the characters as they are portrayed through the illustrations but this works well and so the reader doesn't get bogged down with lots of character descriptions and can get immediate access to the plot instead. The structure follows a repetitive pattern, which makes the book very easy to read. The illustrations are very attractive and add a great deal of enjoyment to the book.

        I have read this to classes of children, small groups and individual children and they have all loved it. This is a really lovely book and I would fully recommend it to anyone wanting to buy a gift for a young child.

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          10.06.2010 15:18
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          Family favourite for little ones and parents alike.

          Owl Babies is a wonderful book for young children by Martin Waddell. Just to be clear, the illustration above shows a paperback book with DVD. I will be reviewing the board book version, which comes without DVD.

          Although this is a different format, the illustration on the front is exactly the same, and gives you a flavour of the illustrations throughout. The Owl Babies in the story are very snuggly and cutely straggly looking and appealing to parents and children alike. The whole book is set with the same dark background, as it all happens at night - these are owls after all - and this gives it a lovely cosy feeling perfect for a bedtime story.

          The story starts by introducing the three Owl Babies - Sarah, and Percy, and Bill - and their treetop house where they live with Mummy and Daddy owl. One night, they wake up to find that there mother owl is not there. As the story goes on, they move from wondering where she is, to sitting outside to wait for her (first each on different branches, then all snuggled together), to worrying at what might have happened to her.

          There is some lovely repetition in this book, not so much of the words, but of the pattern of the story. On each page, as the owls do something else, it is Sarah who speaks first, then Percy, and then little Bill, who always just says 'I want my mummy'. My children think Bill is very funny and I think they can both definitely identify with his feelings! They also like the fact that every so often the owls are thinking what to do next, and the phrase 'because all owls think a lot' is repeated each time - it tickles them I think.

          After all their worrying and being afraid, there is a magical moment where the mother owl returns to her babies. It really is wonderful - on the previous page they have been convincing themselves that she will come, and then the next page says 'AND SHE CAME' - always draws a big smile. There is then much flapping of wings and joy. When the mother owl asks what all the fuss is about, they knew she would come back, Sarah and Percy reply in turn that yes, they knew. Bill, to my children's delight, just says 'I love my mummy'!

          Marvellous magical book, very engaging for the children and not in the least tiresome to read - a firm favourite for all of us.

          Price wise this is not an expensive book - available for £3.49 from Amazon - and I would certainly recommend it.

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          06.01.2010 00:21
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          A book about fears and anxieties made better by the end.

          Little people adore this story of 3 baby owls who wake in the night to find their owl mother gone.
          The siblings huddle together and reassure each other. The eldest, Sarah, takes the role of reassurer, the middle owl, Percy, lets his imagination get the better of him and he questions whether bad things may have happened, like a fox has gotten the mum. The littlest owl, Bill, just tweets 'I want my Mummy'. The story climaxes when all 3 perch outside the owl house and are frought with worry that they may never see their mother again. Then just as the reader begins to despair, the mother returns from her night hunting. She reminds her brood and the reader that although she may disappear for a little while, she will always come back.
          Its a gentle tale, which plays out the insecurities of the dark, of night tiime in the woods and of being left by a parent which all young children have. It reassures at the end and makes it all better.
          The illustrations are lovely and detailed. Its nice to try and get a set of toy baby owls as children love to revisit this book again and again. Its a nice story to spark discussion about childrens fears in a safe and pleasant way. A brilliant book.

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            31.10.2009 16:46

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            highly recommended

            I bought this book at a car boot sale after the vendor told me how much his children loved this story.

            It truly is a story full of charm and warmth. Three young sibling owls wake up one morning to find they are alone in the hole in the trunk of a tree where they live and mummy owl has gone. The story provides a lovely way of demonstrating how brothers and sisters can look after each other when they are scared. It communicates the story in simple language what the owl babies think have happened to mummy owl. Also, because the language is simple and we've read it so much my son (age 4) can now 'read' it to his baby sister.

            Their is good repetition of 'I want my mummy' throughout the book which provides a lovely opportunity for your children to join in the story too. We have also used this to support learning of day and night in the pre-school I work in. It's also a fantastic book for dealing with seperation anxiety as it tells the children that mummy owl always come back.

            The only slight downside is the artwork which looks a little old fashioned.

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            19.10.2009 12:00
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            Thoroughly recommended

            Owl Babies is a lovely story book written by Martin Waddell, with illustrations by Patrick Benson. We recieved Owl Babies in a Book Start pack when my boys were babies, and it has been a favourite story in our house.

            Owl Babies tells the story of three baby owls, Sarah, Percy and Bill, who live with their mother in the trunk of a tree. One night the owl babies wake up to find their mother missing, 'I want my mummy' says the littlest owl, Bill. As the story unfolds, the owls await their mums return. They are fairly sure that she has just gone hunting, however as they wait and wait they become slightly more anxious, huddling together for support. As this books is aimed at preschoolers you will be pleased to hear that it has a happy endning, with the whole family reunited. This is a beautifully written simple, gentle story, accompanied by lovely illustrations. It is a short story, ideal for a bedtime read for very young children. It is perfect for preschool children, especially as it deals with an issue that can loom large in the life of toddlers- separation anxiety. We found owl babies a useful book to go back to when my sons were struggling with being away from mummy at playgroup for the first time.

            As I mentioned previously, we recieved this book as part of a Book Start pack, however it can be purchased from Amazon for just £3.49, and is published by Walker Books. Versions are also available which include a CD or DVD. This books is thoroughly recommended for any preschool aged children.

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              29.06.2009 00:13
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              Sweet story for owl fans!

              Owl Babies is a very popular children's book, written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson. It is available in a seemingly endless amount of permutations, including a book and DVD set, a book and audio set, a board book, a miniature book, a book with a cuddly owl toy, and an enlarged version. However this review is for the standard paperback edition.

              Owl Babies tells the story of three small owls who wake up in the middle of the night, at home in their tree. They soon realise their mother is not with them, and they start to worry about where she has gone. As the night wears on, they become more and more anxious, with the two older owls discussing where she might be, and the youngest one simply repeating at the end of each page, 'I want my mummy!' Of course their mother returns safe and sound at the end of the night and the children are thrilled. (I hope this doesn't classify as me giving away a plot spoiler!!)

              I think this is a really charming story. The baby owls are very sweet and any little girl or boy who has ever worried about their mummy leaving them will be able to identify with their feelings. Because of this, I think the book would be very good for any children who suffer with separation anxiety, for example those who get upset when their parents leave them at playgroup or those who always want to be in the same room as their mother. The story would be reassuring to such children, showing that mums always come back in the end.

              The story is quite quick and easy to listen to as well, and the use of repetition, especially in the phrases used by the youngest baby owl, will help children to learn some of the words and join in themselves. They may even be able to start pointing out those words on the page once they are a little older.

              The book is illustrated throughout, although due to the fact that the baby owls stay in the same location for the whole of the story, the pictures aren't very varied. They are also quite dark, because it is night-time, and I am not sure how much this will appeal to children who like bright, exciting and fun pictures to go with their story.

              I think this book is aimed at children from around age 2 to age 5, though it would be most appreciated by 3-4 year olds. The paperback edition has an RRP of £4.99 and can be bought at Amazon.co.uk for £4.49. However you will probably be able to pick it up very cheaply at a car boot sale or charity shop, or for free at the library!

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                13.03.2009 22:47
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                Overall a great story book.

                'Owl Babies' written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson. You can buy this book brand new on Amazon for £3.89 (paperback). I would say the book is suitable for children over 3 years.

                The book is about three baby owls called Sarah, Percy and Billy who live in a hole in a trunk of a tree with there mother. One night they wake up and there Mother is gone the three babies owls work out that she has probably gone hunting to get them some food. They end up waiting and waiting but she still doesn't come back they start to worry a bit thinking maybe a fox has got her or she has got lost, they sit in the dark woods and just wait. Then they all close there eyes and wish that mother owl would return then at that moment Mother owl silently flies in through the trees. The baby owls are so excited to see Mother Owl. She wonders what all the fuss has been about they should know that she would come back.

                I think the book is really good as it shows the different character of the three baby owls all through the book. Sarah sounds like the smartest baby reassuring the two other baby owls that there mother will be back. Percy sounds like he just goes along with what Sarah says and Billy is the baby of the baby owls, all the way through the book he just says "I want my mummy".

                The illustrations in the book are really clear and you can see a lot of detail has gone into the pictures. They do look simple but if you look closely at the owls you can see the illustrator has worked hard at making there feathers look realistic and detailed. Most of the background on the pages is dark as the story is set in the dark woods but you can still see everything clearly and the owls stand out well.

                My daughters loved the book they enjoyed hearing about the baby owls and where they lived etc.. I think the book explained quite a lot about owls but in a simple format that children would understand as before the book my daughters wouldn't know that the owls fly off and leave there babies to get there food. Throughout the book it mentions that the owls sat and thought and underneath in brackets it says (all owls think a lot) in the end when I said the baby owls sat and though my daughters started to repeat what was in the bracket as they were expecting me to say it. This made them get involved in the book and learn that owls are wise and think a lot.

                Overall a fun book for your child I like reading this book to my daughters at night just before bed as the story is set at night and it is quite a calm story.

                ISBN 0-7445-3167-5

                U wil lalso find this review on ciao under the same name gsparkle. Thank you for reading.

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                  22.11.2008 22:29
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                  Suitable for 2 years up

                  My daughter received this book with a DVD animation of the story attached when she was two and it has been one of her firm favourites ever since. The fact that she can watch the dvd of the story before or after reading the book adds a lot to her enjoyment.

                  My daughter is now in P1 and gets a book home from the library every Tuesday, this week I was surprised to open her school bag to find she had chosen this book from the library. I enquired why she had picked a book which she already had at home and she looked at me as if I was asking the stupidest question in the world. She replied with the tone of a four year old who thinks they are smarter than you and said "because I really like it". End of conversation, mummy suitably told off and we sat down to read through the book which had already been read so many times and was sitting in the bookshelf in her bedroom.

                  This is not the normal colourful book which would immediately leap out at you as a childrens' book, the pages are dark and sometimes you would think almost frightening for little ones, but my daughter doesn't seem to have a problem with the lack of colour.

                  The story revolves around three baby owls Sarah, Percy and Bill, who have been left alone sleeping by their mum in the darkness of a hole in a tree. One night they woke up to find their owl mummy gone. Sarah asks "Where's my mummy?" Percy says "Oh my goodness!" and Bill says "I want my mummy".

                  Sarah and Percy the older owls are not so worried about their mother not being there and discuss if she had gone hunting for food. Little Bill, the baby owl, says again "I want my Mummy" which is repeated at intervals throughout the book, this sentence appears so often and I say it in such a ridiculous voice that it is one which my daughter can now recognize and read herself.

                  After a while they begin to worry about what might have happened to her and whether she would come back, and they move out to sit on the branch of the tree. Bill being the youngest owl is particularly frightened and no amount of reassurance can calm him down. As their mum still doesn't appear even the older owls begin to worry. They perch on the tree branch surrounded by darkness looking for their mum. They wait and wait but there is still no sign of her. Even the two bigger owls, Sarch and Percy are beginning to get a little concerned that something might have happened to their mum. They cuddle up together and wished that their owl mother would come.

                  At the end of the book when she returns, swooping through the trees, the babies are really happy to see her. The mummy owl wonders why they were upset as they should know that mummys always return to get their children. They are very happy and relieved to have her back and happiness and security return to the big old tree and young Bill finishes the story with "I love my mummy".

                  Each page is very dark, due to the nature of the story, as owls fly at night but its beautifully illustrated with the worried eyes of the little owls really attracting the childs attention. There are only a few sentences per page so its ideal for a bedtime story, the fact that all ends well gives your child a nice warm and secure feeling as they settle down for the night.

                  It's a great book to read with your child especially if they are not happy being left anywhere as Mummy owl comes home and everyone feels safe.

                  The fact that this book comes with a dvd of the story just enhances the experience for the child and may allow you to cut back on the number of times you have to sit down and read through the book. The dvd tells the story as it appears in the book, by animating the pictures in the book and having a narrator, Emilia Fox tell the story as the owls are shown sitting on the branches and cuddling together.

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                    08.10.2008 09:54
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                    Read it to your little one and watch their face light up!

                    I want my .....MUMMY! Three baby owls, 1, 2, 3 live together with their mummy in a hole in a tree. One night mummy owl goes out and when the babies awake they wonder where she has gone. Sarah, Percy and Bill look after each other and reassure each other until mummy owl returns. Bill is clearly the youngest owl and the repeated 'I want my...Mummy' is a great one for children to pick up on beginning to develop the idea of predicting text. My son absolutely adores this book (and so do I) he counts the owls and joins in with the story. The owl babies have a very loving brother/sister relationship, they look after each other, reassure each other and are protective especially over the youngest owl, Bill. Once again this book has superb illustrations, making the story really come alive. You can get this story with a DVD, as paperback or boardbook, with an owl toy as a big book (as used in schools) and also there is a teachers resource pack.

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                      10.08.2008 20:41
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                      A lovely book, written by a lovely man.

                      The owl babies, by Martin Waddell

                      This is the story, of Sarah, Percy and bill. They are three little owl babies, who sit on their branch as they wait for their mummy to come home. They continue to wait, and wait and still she does not come. They look after each other, and Sarah and Percy come up with several sensible ideas as to where she might be. And at the end of each page, tiny bill always says simply "I want my mummy!"

                      Wonderfully illustrated by Patrick Benson, we can see the little faces of the babies get more and more scared, by the thought of their mummy not coming home. Sweet and homely the combination of Waddell's simple language and Benson's excellent artwork make for a really great children's book. Of course, in the end mummy comes home, and little bill exclaims "I love my mummy!"

                      Now, this book has been enjoyed by my children, and I was able to write it into their bedtime routine. It calmed them down, and the story made them so happy at the end that they associated that happy feeling with going to bed. Also, they were able to join in, and it did not take them long to learn to say "I want my mummy!" at exactly the right time. Of course, this means that I now know the book off by heart, but this adds to the effect because it means that the kids can have the book to look at the lovely pictures, while I dictate from memory.

                      The book teaches children simple lessons, like siblings looking after each other, and the safety of the family unit. It teaches love and respect. And, in my house, it creates a perfect family "winding down" time, where we do something together as a family before bed. Our littlest girl, who is two, will automatically go and get the book, and tells the others it's time for bill!
                      The book can be bought at all good bookshops for the princely sum of a fiver. Now for the hassle it has saved us, it's definitely worth it!

                      Coincidentally, a short time after getting the book and realising we liked it so much, we found out that author Martin Waddell lives about half a mile from us! We live in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, as does he. We plucked up the courage one day, and asked him as a family would he sign our copy, which he did. It was a great thrill for the two older ones. He is a lovely man, and has written a lovely book for which our family will always be grateful!

                      Recommended. G

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                        03.09.2007 22:25
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                        A book written by Martin Waddell

                        A greatly illustrated childreds book which tells the story of 3 owl babies, who wake up and realised their mother isn't there. So the 3 babies imagine what their mother could be doin or what dangers she could be in.

                        ~Story~
                        Percy, Sarah and Bill live with their mother inside a hole in a tree, with feathers and leaves in it. However one night when they woke up she was gone. Sarah suggests she could have gone hunting, which Percy agrees with, but all what Bill, says is 'I want my Mummy,' what he says throughout the book. So they went outside and sat on branches to wait for their Mother, and they reassured themselves she will be back soon.

                        The owls seemed to be scared of the woods because they could hear things move, but they were brave and Sarah says she will bring back mice. Then they all sat on the samme branch where they were thinking of all the bad things that could have happened to her, Sarah says she could have been eaten by a fox. So they closed their eyes and waited for their mother to return. When she does they cheer and she asks 'what all the fuss? You know I'd come back.' Percy and Sarah said they knew she would and Bill says 'I love my Mummy!'

                        ~Illustration~
                        Patrick Benson illustrated the lovely pictures of the owls and the surrounding nature. He has illustrated many books including: The tough Princess, The story of whales, the series of Hob stories and many more, plus he has written The little Penguin. I love the illustrations in this book, they are very realistic and you can easily tell their emotion in every page just by looking at the pictures.

                        ~Author~
                        Martin Waddell was born during a bomb raid in the 2nd world war in Belfast, he writes stories mainly for entertainment, not for any educational or maral value. Other books include, Mimi and the picnic, pig in the pond & sailor bear, he also wrote a lot more plus a few ghost stories.

                        ~other info~
                        ISBN 0-7445-2166-1
                        Size 10.2 x 8.8 (inches)
                        Age group 3-6
                        Price- Hardback New £2 Second Hand 1p
                        Paperback New £4.50 Seccond hand £1.65
                        Broad back New £6.50 Second hand £4.50
                        Published by Walker books in 1996 (broad back 2003)

                        This i believe is a very nice book for children if they have ever felt scared, or any children inparticular, I used to like it when i was a child mainly because of the illustartions. Plus as like many childrens book he uses a lot of repetition for the smallest owl. I would recommend anyone to buy it.

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                          07.10.2006 13:57
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                          A book for younger readers.

                          I am reviewing another Walker Book publication, as I have found all their children’s books to be of a high standard, and my girls love them.

                          Owl Babies is one of a pack of books that we got last Christmas
                          for £10 from one of the book clubs.

                          The book is written by Martin Waddell, who has also written others such as Farmer Duck and Snow Bears.
                          It is illustrated by Patrick Benson.

                          *STORY*
                          Three owl babies live in a hole in the trunk of a tree with their mother. Their home is lined with twigs and leaves and feathers, and the owls feel very secure and loved.
                          They are called Sarah and Percy and Bill.

                          One night they awaken to find that their mother is not in the hole with them, and they are alarmed to various degrees corresponding to their ages.
                          On each page, after his brother and sister try to comfort him, the youngest Bill responds with ‘I want my mummy’.
                          Sarah and Percy try to explain that she may have gone to get them some food, but Bill is not to be comforted, he just wants his mum.

                          As mum is gone for longer and longer, all the owls begin to worry.
                          They leave the safety of the hole, to perch on a branch to look for mum. They wait and wait and still she does not return.
                          They all cuddle together and wonder if anything bad has befallen her. They all want their mummy.

                          When she returns, quietly and softly swooping through the trees, the babies are so happy to see her.
                          Mother owl wonders what all the fuss is about, as they all know that she always returns home to them.
                          They are just happy to see her, as they all love their mummy, and missed her very much.

                          *ILLUSTRATIONS*
                          The pictures are all quite dark, as owls only come out a night.

                          The owls themselves are very fluffy, with big scared eyes. There is detail to the feathers and beaks, and some of the background scenery has a lot of detail too.

                          Whilst being very accurate, they do have some of the fuzzy, child friendly feel to them. However, as this is a tale for younger children to make them feel more secure, the drawings are story appropriate.

                          As I said, it is all very darkly coloured, but it is not scary or intimidating, probably the reason the pictures have the fuzzy look as opposed to clean lines.

                          *CONCLUSION*
                          This is a lovely book, which is designed to re-enforce the fact that mummy always returns home.
                          As all parents know, some children have separation issues, or anxiety about mummy going away.
                          In a gentle way, this book explains that mummy will always return home.

                          It may seem quite simplistic, but stories with this type of theme, when told a good few times, do help to convince a child that he/she is not being abandoned.

                          Having experienced a few tantrums myself when I dared leave the girls when they were young, I can see how books such as this one would be a good tool to help combat any problems.

                          I am not suggesting it will work miracles, more that it would be a small piece in the jigsaw.

                          My girls love the story. They feel sorry for the owl babies, and my youngest always tells them that mummy will come home before the book even mentions it.
                          They like the pictures, and as we go to the woods anyway as a family, they are not scared of what may be lurking in them.

                          All in all I would say this is a gentle book, which will not suit my eldest for much longer, but is excellent for younger children.

                          Hope this helps.

                          Sue xxx

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                            09.09.2006 14:51
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                            A lovely book to share with young children!

                            'Owl Babies' is a gorgeous picture book written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson. Quite simply, it tells the story of three little owl babies - Sarah, Percy and Bill and what happened one night when their mummy disappeared.

                            When they discover she has gone, they wonder where she is. Sarah, the eldest baby suggests that she might have gone hunting, and Bill agrees that that she has gone to get them some food. Poor little Bill, the youngest owl baby, just says very sadly 'I want my Mummy!'

                            As the night goes on and their mother doesn't appear they keep on having conversations about what could have happened - Sarah and Percy coming up with lots of practical ideas and poor little Bill always saying 'I want my Mummy!'

                            While all this is going on the looks on their faces are getting more and more worried. Patrick Benson is an excellent illustrator and he really captures that startled nervous look that you see on so many owls!

                            Finally, when the owls have run out of ideas they decide just to sit on their branch, close their eyes, and wish their mummy home! This is accompanied by a beautiful pictue of all owl babies with eyes tightly shut. Of course, as this is a book for children, you can expect a happy ending so after lots of wishing their mummy does return. She 'swoops soft and silently' through the trees to her little babies who are overjoyed to see her. Once they have calmed down, she says what's all the fuss about because they knew she would come back and they all say that of course they did.

                            I like this simply story for lots of reasons.

                            Firstly the pictures are wonderful and they add to the storyline. You see these little baby owls looking scared and vulnerable and children can empathise with how they are feeling. It also helps children to talk about their own fears of being left alone and as the ending is a happy one this is reassuring to them.

                            I also like the language used in the book particularly the words used by the little owls. My daughter likes joining in with what they say, especially little Bill's cries of 'I want my Mummy!'

                            I also think it's good the way the sister and brothers look after each other. As I have two girls I can use this book to talk about how they can look after each other too - my three year old loves to look after her little sister!

                            'Owl Babies' is published by Walker Books and my copy has an RRP of £4.99. It is good quality paper and has stood up to a lot of page turning in our house!

                            I also know that it is a book used by a lot of schools in KS1 so it is likely that your child might come across it when he or she goes to school.

                            All in all this is another excellent story/picture book. It has a good story line with a happy ending and helps children recognise the importance of caring for others! It makes me feel all warm inside!

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                          • Product Details

                            A Big Book for reading aloud about three owl babies who wake up and find their mother has gone.