Written and Illustrated by Andy Rutton
Published by Simon & Schuster
In Owly, wordless panels of pictures silently tell a delightful story of friendship between an owl and a worm.
Owly, an apparently flightless and rotund little owl, longs for friends. Sadly for Owly, the other birds are not quite friendly to him. But thanks to his nurturing and kind side, Owly holds up strong as he rescues Wormy. As the two new friends set off find Wormy's parents, they also learn to say goodbyes when they meet some humming birds.
The artwork in this black-and-white graphic novel is expressively rendered, particularly the loneliness and longingness for friendship as shown through Owly's large eyes. A smattering of anthropomorphic elements, (the fully furnished tree house for example) add to the charm, while retaining a sense of natural world.
Owly paved the way for us to discover graphic novel as a genre. I accidentally bumped into the book at our local library when my older one was about eight.Owly comes in a six part series and are appropriate for an early or pre-reader. Older children might find it a fast and fun read as well.
Owly is as truly authentic as it can be with no frilly and unnecessary distracting elements. A neat little appetizer bundled with a lot of heart, perfect for the graphic-novel-hungry kid who is just starting out exploring the genre.