The small owl with big eyes and equally outsized heart makes new friends on a nocturnal outing.
Discovering that their view of the sky has been blocked by tree leaves, Owly and his little vermiform housemate march out to set up their new telescope on a woodland hilltop. When heavy rains drive them into a cave that night, and eerie “Clickety skreeeeeeeee” noises send them scrambling back out, the telescope goes missing. This prompts Owly to screw his courage to the sticking place, leave his shivering buddy behind and set off on a search. As in Owly’s previous picture-book (Friends All Aflutter, 2011) and graphic-novel appearances, the tale is told in big, easy-to-grasp sequential cartoons, with wordless pictures and signs in balloons creating a nonverbal language that serves just fine in place of narration or dialogue. Owly returns in triumph with not only the telescope, but a set of friendly bats to explain the scary sound effects. In a final bit of both plot and emotional resolution, Wormy’s fear of the dark is transformed to delight as the camp’s candle is blown out, and the seemingly empty skies overhead suddenly blaze with stars.
Young readers and pre-readers alike will respond strongly to the tale’s elemental drama and clearly defined emotional arc. (Graphic picture book. 2-5)