Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Jane Yolen

Owl Moon

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by John Schoenherr
Publisher:  Philomel Books
Published: 1987
ISBN-13: 9780399214578
Personal copy

How could one not absolutely fall in love with Owl Moon? Jane Yolen crafted a beautiful story of a young girl who waited until her time finally arrived to go owling with her father. The magic of the night is so clear by the words Yolen uses as she spins her tale and the gorgeous watercolor pictures of Schoenherr.

Told from the young girl's point of view, Yolen creates a magical atmosphere as the girl and her father wander into the moonlit night. The reader can feel the girl's anticipation as they wander into the cold winter woods. They stop once...Pa calls out to the owls. No response. trudging deeper into the woods, they stop again. Pa calls out...then is just about to call again when the reply comes. Suddenly, the owl flies right over the pair and lands on a branch love them. Pa shines his flashlight up at the owl...they stare for what seems forever. As quick as the owl arrived, it left. The girl and her father head home without a word...for none is needed.

Yolen uses a variety of figurative language in her piece that helps the reader picture the story as they read. From the first page where you read about the trees standing "still as giant statutes" to it being "as quiet as a dream" to shadows that "stained the white snow." Wow, how could you ask for more.

So on your birthday Jane Yolen, I say thank you for crafting such a wonderful story that is timeless!

Here are some ideas for teachers:

1988 Caldecott Medal for Illustrations