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 !





5 comments:

Deanne said...

I have seen three different species of owls on my night hikes. Great horned owls do a typical hoot as the owl in OWL MOON.

The barred owl is known to sound like it is saying "Who Cooks for You, Who Cooks for You Aaaall?"

The screech-owl call is a beautiful little trill.

These three are probably the most commonly encountered owls while owling -- at least in the east.

P.C. said...

We are experiencing an irruption ( a sudden, unpredictable of owls where they have been uncommon) of snow owls here in Montana. They have shown up in a little subdivision near Flathead Lake and have been spending the winter there. It's created quite the stir among the local birders, with busloads of people coming all the way from Texas. Seeing the two foot tall birds, with their five foot wingspans is impressive!

Acer said...

I was walking the dog late at night several years ago and a huge tawny owl swooped overhead. It was so silent and impressive - they are beautiful creatures. The dark silhouette melted quickly into the night, but I remember it well.

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