Posted in Picture Book Reviews

Book Review #4: Owl Babies

Author: Martin Waddell

Illustrator: Patrick Benson

Release Year: First published in 1992

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd. (Great Britain)

Age group: 2 – 4 years

Available on: Amazon India

On a tree in the woods,

three baby owls, Sarah and Percy

and Bill, sit and think and wait for

their Owl Mother to come home.

Story –

This is a story of 3 baby owls Sarah, Percy and Bill, who wake up one night to find that their Owl Mother is not there in the nest. The eldest one Sarah tries to think of a scenario that their mother must have gone away for hunting. They wait for a long time.

Even after waiting for long, when their mother does not return, they get scared. Sarah keeps on affirming positively to her siblings suggesting the Owl Mother will come soon, she will bring them mice and other nice things and they should be brave. This sounds comforting to Percy but the little one, Bill, is inconsolable. He keeps on saying “I want my mummy”.

At one point, Sarah and Percy think of their mother getting lost or a fox might have got her. To deal with their fear, they close their eyes and wish their Owl Mother would come.

The mother, later, comes back and the owl babies get excited on seeing her. The mother asks them about the fuss they were making and didn’t they knew she would come back. The story ends on a happy note with the little Bill saying “I love my mummy.

What appealed to me?

  1. The premise of the story of overcoming our fears with positive affirmations.
  2. The solace of the Owl Mother returning at the end is soothing. It ensures a good night sleep for the little ones after the read aloud time.
  3. The illustrations leave a huge impact in terms of creating the night setting with the black background and the white colour of the owl babies who are of different sizes conveying the difference in their ages authentically.
  4. This story can be a starting point for discussing owls for their nocturnal traits with children between 3-4 years age.
Sarah, Percy and Bill waiting for their Owl Mother

What appealed to D?

  1. Bill was his favourite.
  2. He liked to repeat Bill’s lines “I want my mummy” and “I love my mummy” after me. The first one as if wailing and the second one excitedly.

What D questioned?

There were no questions for this book for 2 reasons –

  1. He was a toddler when we read this book, and
  2. He loved this book very much.

My Observation –

The first time when you read this book to the children, the black background in the illustrations depicting the night along with the owl babies frightened that their mother might never come back, both these factors can be daunting for the children. However, the joyful ending makes sure that the little ones will love this book and will go back again and again to have this book read aloud to  them.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon India. This means: if you buy this book by clicking on the link mentioned above, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you.


This book is a part of my own collection and was received as a gift.

Linking this post with Literacy Musings Mondays #LMM

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