Owl Moon is based on an activity that could be a true story, but it is fictional because the characters are created by the author. 

If you are excited about owls and want to learn a little more about their natural history, I received a non-fiction book for Christmas that I recommend.  Some have mentioned that it is a children’s book, but I believe it is geared more for adults. The format looks much like a picture book and has illustrations that would appeal to a child.  This format may have misled some to think it is a children’s book.  

The book Twelve Owls, by Laura Erickson, has a Minnesota slant since the author lives there, but she works for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and has 35 years of bird experience and refers to other states often in the text. 

She has also published a book called Sharing the Wonders of Birds With Kids.  Both these books are published by the University of Minnesota Press.

I also recommend a children’s bird book series by Adele Porter, published by Adventure Publications. My copy, of course, is Wild About Minnesota Birds:  A Youth’s Guide to the Birds of Minnesota.  This guide contains beautiful photos and intriguing text.  It is more than just a typical field guide.  Others in the series are about Michigan, Wisconsin and Northeastern birds.

Birds are often common in every habitat no matter where you look and are the perfect subject to use to get kids excited about nature and caring about the environment.  This is why I’m happy to pass along some good reads to spark interest in birds and the outdoors.


Do you have any favorite bird books?  My first field guide was North American Birds Golden Guide. 

What was your very first bird book?

New! Morgan Academy Discussion Blog on connecting children to nature through literature.

Don't Forget to Check Out America's Wild Read !

OWL MOON: “Owling”- Not Just a Childhood Experience – Perspective by Deanne Endrizzi

I didn’t have parents that were much into nature, so my interest was sparked through my own investigations.  It would have been awesome to have a parent, relative or friend like Pa in the book Owl Moon that would take me out to look for owls at night.

My first experience with “owling” was in my late high school and young adult years.  One of my first dates with my husband was owling on Valentine’s night.  Because of this evening, owling holds a special place in my heart and that is why I accepted the invitation to moderate.

Owl Moon, the 1988 Caldecott winner, is considered a “quiet” book and unless you are an established author, it is hard to get these types of books published.  The vivid descriptions of the night hike coupled with John Schoenherr artwork really make the story come alive.  The hair stands up on the back of my neck having experienced this activity myself.
The description of the train whistle and the dogs barking reminds me of the cold, snowy nights at my great grandma’s house back in the 70s.  It is interesting how some stories bring back childhood memories.
I wonder if this story is based on the author's personal experience.  It seems she must have had some familiarity of hiking at night in the winter to weave together such a realistic tale.

Owl Moon’s author, Jane Yolen, is a prolific writer with over 300 books published and she started writing in 1963.  She’s not what you would call a nature writer, but she has several other nature-related books of poetry with photos by Stan Stemple.  The most recent are:  An Egret’s Day (2009), A Mirror to Nature (2009) and Fine Feathered Friends (2004).
Have you ever been owling? If you found owls on a night hike, what species did you see/hear?  What kind of memories does this book stir up for you?

Owl photgraphed by Deanne

New! Morgan Academy Discussion Blog on connecting children to nature through literature.

Don't Forget to Check Out America's Wild Read !