Posted by: montclairlibrary | July 3, 2021

Picture books for owl fans

On July 8, the library is offering a virtual program about owls with an East Bay Regional Parks naturalist – including the opportunity to dissect an actual owl pellet – stop by the library to pick up your own regurgitated owl waste – supplies are limited!

Owls, with their wise reputation and ambassador-of-the-night status, seem like perfect bedtime story main characters. If you’d like to learn more about owls, check out one of these 20 picture books, from non-fiction to traditional stories to explorations of siblinghood, friendship and neighbors who are different from you. Authors seem to find owls particularly suited to stories about night and bedtime, of course, and for safely exploring fears about the dark and being lost.

(Descriptions mostly from the library catalog with occasional fine-tuning and editorial comments.)

20 Picture Books About Owls, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

Owls by Gail Gibbons (J 598.97 GIBBONS)
Gibbons is the queen of simple non-fiction picture books that introduce readers to the key facts about a subject, and this book is a good introduction to and overview of owls around the world, including “the twenty-one most popular types living in North America,” their habitat and life cycle.

Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien (J PICBK TAYLOR)
Hoot Owl flies through the night and assumes numerous disguises – with decidedly mixed results – in his attempts to catch a meal.

Whoo Goes There? by Jennifer A. Ericsson (J PICBK ERICSSON)
Cumulative rhythmic story of a hungry owl watching for his dinner.

Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan (J PICBK SRINIVASA)
Little Owl enjoys a lovely night in the forest visiting his friend the raccoon, listening to the frogs croak and the crickets chirp, and watching the fog that hovers overhead.

A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na (J PICBK NA)
While other animals sleep at night, some quietly and others noisily, some alone and others huddled together, a wide-eyed owl watches. (Also available in Spanish.)

Whooo’s There? by Mary Serfozo (J PICBK SERFOZO)
An inquisitive owl keeps track of the comings and goings of woodland creatures all night long.

Good Night Owl by Greg Pizzoli (J PICBK PIZZOLI)
Owl takes drastic measures to have a good night’s sleep.

“I’m Not Sleepy!” by Jonathan Allen (J PICBK ALLEN)
After staying up all night as all owls do, Baby Owl insists that he is not sleepy, despite his yawning and stretching and acting very grumpy. (See also the popular “I’m Not Cute.”)

Oliver the Curious Owl by Chad Otis (J PICBK OTIS)
A curious owl and a friendly bug ask questions that lead them on a grand adventure away from–and back to–their home tree.

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson (J PICBK WADDELL)
Three owl babies whose mother has gone out in the night try to stay calm while she is gone.
(Also available in Spanish.)

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton (J PICBK HAUGHTON)
While his mother is away finding food, a newborn owl falls out of his nest and anxiously tries to find her, receiving help from various forest animals. (Also available in Spanish.)

Night Owl by Toni Yuly (J PICBK YULY)
A baby owl flies through the night, listening carefully to different sounds as he tries to find Mommy Owl.

Owl Love You by Matthew Heroux & Wednesday Kirwan (J PICBK HEROUX)
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal many ways to show love as a mother owl promises to play with, teach, protect and care for her baby from sunset to sunrise.

Owl Eyes by Frieda Gates (J 398.24 GATES)
Retells the Mohawk legend of Raweno the Everything-Maker and the exasperating Owl.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen (J PICBK YOLEN)
On a winter’s night under a full moon, a father and daughter trek into the woods to see the great horned owl in this book about patience and humans’ connection to the natural world.

White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies (J 598.97 DAVIES)
When a family of barn owls moves into a nesting box nearby, a young girl and her grandfather look for them every night. “Lyrical text provides intriguing facts about the wondrous world of the barn owl.”

Tanna’s Owl by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley (J PICBK QITSUALIK)
“When Tanna’s father brings home an abandoned owl, she is not eager to take care of the needy, ugly little bird.” When the owl begins to “sprout a beautiful adult snowy owl coat,” Tanna is “relieved not to have to care for it anymore, but also a bit sad. This heartwarming story based on the author’s own life experience teaches young readers the value of hard work, helping and caring–even when the thing you are caring for does not love you back.”

Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge (J PICBK JUDGE)
Hoot the owl is excited to teach his younger sister all of his wisdom–but much to his annoyance, Peep is more interested in capturing the magic of the world around her than in listening to his advice.

Owl Bat, Bat Owl by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (J PICBK FITZPATRI)
In this wordless picture book, an owl family and a bat family endeavor to share living spaces on the same tree branch, where initial wariness is overcome by the curiosity of the families’ babies on a wild and stormy night that compels them to set aside their apprehensions.

Who’s Next Door? by Mayuko Kishira (J PICBK KISHIRA)
When Owl moves in next door to Chicken, they must find a find a creative way to enjoy each other’s company despite their different schedules.

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