Sunday, December 10, 2006

A soother

OWL BABIES By Martin Waddell , illustrated by Patrick Benson

OWL BABIES is a picture book that deals with a very sensitive issue that every infant or toddler experiences early on. It is a book about the mental anguish that young ones undergo due to maternal separation and the constant reassurance they need - the belief and trust that every mother would unfailingly return to her young one.

The book zooms into a simple yet critical incident in the lives of three owlets. The setting is a sober conversation among three siblings upon discovering their mommy's disappearance one night. Waiting is painful. They hope and pray that their mother is out, only to find food, that she is safe and that she would definitely come back to them. The mommy hooter returns. Her unexpected yet expected return makes the owlets ecstatic!

I bought this book around the time my daughter started preschool (after staying at home for a good chunk of her early life) . I would always reassure her that I would pick her up later the same day. She never cried a tear but she would always reiterate my verbal assurance. I think we were able to relate to this book a lot and my daughter felt good about the restored confidence. Even after months, we still read it and enjoy the warmth when the mother owl takes in her babies under her wings.

The incident is uncomplicated and the story is simply written. The visual backdrop of a black tree hole and frightened owls may not be a common sight among the brightly hued, cheerfully written children's books. However, the vivid pictures will only draw you closer to the actual night. This is probably one of the many books based on this concept, but it is surely a very good book to be read to your little one who needs the reassurance.


Anusha said...

thanks for this review! After reading your post, I checked it out from the library because the topic was so apt for what my 14mo goes thru and... I enjoyed the story very much :)
My son doesnt have the patience to sit through each page, but he does like the pictures, so I'll just be making the story up as I go along!

Praba Ram said...

Aloha from beautiful Maui! :-)

Great review! I have seen this book in bookstores. Nice selection and great choice of topic - reassurance! I liked the labels too.

Thought it was a clever idea to use this book to help your daughter cope with her first-time preschool experience! I am sure this review will be of help to many mothers - I see an appreciative comment already by @. Way to go, Meera!

Tharini said...

Lovely review Meera. I wish I had known about this book when my son went thru his parting parts during the earlier years. Nevertheless, this is on my list.

Praba Ram said...

We read Owl babies online on - it's a subscription site(40dollars per year) where they have popular picture books in a multi-media format. I have a link set up on the blog. We took membership last month for K, and it's pretty neat to have an online storytime option - isn't it? K had read this story sometime last month, and when I mentioned this book - she was like " Ya, I know that story." She remembered every line from the book - Sarah, Percy and Bill..." I played the story again here in Maui for her, and we had a good time - Bill's use of the same words "I want my Mommy" brought out a chuckle in both of us...The theme was applicable to us too because k is going through some anxieties with a new baby in the family - she has become unusually clingy with me - it was an interesting lesson for her in that siblings need their mother too, and that they all miss their moms equally...don't know if I am putting that correctly - but that was a nice take-away for her...


Meera Sriram said...

Amazing how the book can help so many of us! The author will be delighted to see how his work is actually touching so many lives.

Choxbox said...

This is one of my favs! How did I miss this review?!

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