THE OWL WHO WAS AFRAID OF THE DARK by Jill Tomlinson

THE OWL WHO WAS AFRAID OF THE DARK

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

New color illustrations introduce an English classic about a small barn owl—unfortunately and inexplicably named “Plop”—who learns to love the dark. At his mother’s suggestion, Plop, who thinks the dark is scary, asks various people about it. Each (among them a boy, a scout, and an astronomer) gives him a personal reason for appreciating the night. At last, a black cat leads him away from his sleeping parents to the rooftops where, looking over the sleeping town, Plop realizes that the night really is beautiful, and that he really is a night bird. The full-page pastel illustrations are full of rich night hues of deep blue skies, light, and shadow, and smaller sketches on alternate pages show the little owl with his new acquaintances. Plop, though a fledged bird, appears smaller and softer than his owl parents and is a thoroughly endearing creature in these pictures, and the art carries the story over several weak spots. In one of Plop’s less convincing encounters, a grandmotherly woman tells him that she likes the dark because it is kind, and she can forget that she is old—an idea more sentimental than true. In another—less universal than the fear of the dark that the tale addresses—a girl tells him that the dark is necessary so that Santa can come and fill the stockings for Christmas Day. But the fireworks that the boy invites Plop to watch are reflected in the big dark eyes of the young barn owl and his parents—a nicely dramatic depiction of the awe that night can hold. Parents and children are likely to overlook some pedestrian moments in the story for the overall reassurance it may bring. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7636-1562-5
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2001




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