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Owly, Volume 1: The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer (Owly #1)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  4,622 ratings  ·  266 reviews
Owly is a kind, yet lonely, little owl who's always on the lookout for new friends and adventure. The first graphic novel in the series contains two enchanting novellas, "The Way Home" & "The Bittersweet Summer," wherein Owly discovers the meaning of friendship, and that saying goodbye doesn't always mean forever.
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published by Top Shelf Productions (first published September 1st 2004)
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This is a marvelous series of books for kids. Not just lovely and sweet, but pretty unique in my experience.

They're comics, but they don't have any verbal element. (Well, very rare verbal elements) The animals think and speak in pictures, so kids can read these books to themselves.

Reading them with your kids is fun too, because you can say, "What do you think is happening here?" Not only is hearing their interpretation of events lovely, but it make the reading a truly collaborative experience.
Sep 13, 2008 Qt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes heartwarming stories and adorable art.
Charming and heartwarming! There are two stories in this volume, and both are lovely tales of friendship; the artwork is adorable, and Owly and his friends are so expressive, even though the story is basically wordless. I will definitely be reading more of the Owly books. Highly recommended.
Sam Quixote
I don't usually read all-ages comics but I picked up Andy Runton's Owly on the strength of Grant Morrison recommending it - if Morrison thinks it's good, I'm giving it a shot!

Owly is a silent comic (wordless) featuring a lonely Owl who can't seem to make friends among other birds but becomes friends with a worm. He helps the displaced worm find his family again before sadly departing back to his solitary life. But Wormy sticks with him so he won't be alone and a great friendship begins!

The secon
Seth Hahne
It’s difficult to know exactly what to say about Owly. The book is slight, certainly. One can breeze through the entire volume in under fifteen minutes. That there are nearly no words means that readers will spend all their time reading pictures instead of divvying time between text and illustration. The stories are simple (even perhaps simplistic) and the characters are all dressed in heart-on-sleeve fashion. The art, too, is low on detail and finish, using broad brushstrokes and few lines to c ...more
Graphic novel
For kindergarten-6th grade

In two wordless stories, Owly makes his first friend, a worm, and then both Owly and Wormy learn how to be friends with a pair of hummingbirds.

At first glance, this black-and-white graphic novel is simple and cute, but the simplicity is deceptive. The artwork is slightly cartoony and very expressive, particularly Owly's large and revealing eyes. Although the basics of the story are easy to pick up from the wordless panels, there is a lot of heart - and a bu
I found this Graphic Novel quite heartwarming and entertaining. Owly, a very friendly owl saves Wormy, a worm, from drowning in a pond in a rainy day. Their friendship starts the moment Wormy wakes up at Owly's house and sees Owly's dedication while he was sick. Wormy lost his parents in the rain so Owly and Wormy take off in their search for them, finding them safe and sound. Then Owly and Wormy set in another adventure when they try to feed seeds to a hummingbird, learning that what they eat i ...more
[Name Redacted]
Perfect. Just perfect. I wish I had kids to give these to.


I gave this and the second volume to my ex-fiancee back in 2007 or so, since she loves adorable, gentle things. As I'm currently suffering from a glut of what our culture pretends to be insight but which is usually just self-righteous, superficial and smug cynicism, I figured I should probably check these out myself now.
Chili Public
I cannot stress this enough. BUY THIS SERIES! This is a tender little series about an owl, named Owly and his best friend who is a worm named Wormy, of course. Owly has big adorable eyes and little tiny wings, that don’t know how to fly. He likes going to one of the local gardening shops to look at new plants and look up information in the oodles of books they have.

The best thing about this series is (and you are going to think I’m sick in the head perhaps)… there are NO words! How great is that
This book was recommended to me by one of my Goodread friends who also likes graphic novels. It was a very cute book with adorable drawings that told a great story despite having very few words. This is something young kids and adults alike will enjoy.

The book tells two stories. The first is The Way Home in which Owly saves a worm from drowning and helps the worm to find his family. The second is The Bittersweet Summer where Owly befriends some hummingbirds and struggles with how to take care of
(CIP) Owly is a kind, yet lonely, little owl who's always on the lookout for new friends and adventure. The first graphic novel in the series contains two enchanting novellas: the Way Home and the Bittersweet Summer, wherein Owly discovers the meaning of friendship and that saying goodbye doesn't always mean forever.

(Claudia) Two thoroughly charming, almost wordless stories in black-and-white comic book style. Simple yet expressive drawings tell the (first) story of a lonely little owl, as he re
David Schaafsma
Owly is a sweet kid series without words but with lots of empathy, understanding, acceptance, warmth and sweetness. Not flying sweetness, but Winnie the Pooh and Piglet sweetness. Like the Tao of Pooh, you can read it for its world view or philosophy, though it's solid, not sappy. My kids are liking the series.
In The Way Home, Owly finds a worm who was going to drown from all the rain and saves him. He learns that the worm wants to go back to his parents and Owly helps the worm find his parents. Then the worm decides that his home is now with Owly.

In The Bittersweet Summer, Owly and the worm makes friends with the hummingbirds that have been hanging around their tree. They are sad when winter comes and the hummingbirds leave, but are happy to learn from a book that when spring comes, their friends wil
É F.K. Ó Conghaile
I really like how sweet this series is. The characters are friendly, supportive, and express emotions without shame. There are some very important lessons in teamwork and togetherness, done in such a way which doesn't feel like a lesson. It's very *real* how the story is about these empathizing characters helping other characters, and getting to know and appreciate each other through their challenges and triumphs.

The lack of dialogue common to graphic novels is actually a relief for me. In not h
Owly: The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer by Andy Runton (2004)
Genre: Fiction
Format: Graphic Novel
Plot summary:Presents the silent graphic novel adventures of a cute owl named Owly, who wishes to make friends with the other animals in the forest.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.): Painfully cute.
Review citation (if available):Tina Coleman. Booklist Feb 1, 2005 v101 i11 p959(2)
Section source used to find the
Meghan Klyczek
I thoroughly enjoyed this book series! I am not used to reading or viewing graphic novels, so this was a first for me. My experience though, absolutely adorable! I just loved cute, little owl and how he was able to tug at my heart strings. (I also have a soft spot for owls). There are two novellas that went with this book, "The Way Home" and "The Bittersweet Summer."
In the first book, the author introduces Owly as a very lonely own. He wants friends and adventure. He tries to make friends with s
Austin G
Owly, was the first time I had ever personally been exposed to a graphic novel. I cannot believe I have been missing out on some very fun books. I consider myself to be a very visual person and absolutely loved getting a change to read this book through the images. Owly, volume one consists of two stories, The Way Home and The Bittersweet Summer. Owly is kindhearted owl that loves adventures. With Wormy by his side nothing can stop these two friends from having fun and meeting new friends.

The f
Courtney Dyer
In the first book of Andy Runton’s charming wordless graphic novel series, Owly, Vol. 1: The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer, we are introduced to a character that is sure to capture the heart of its readers, young and old alike. Owly is a gentle soul in search of new friends who always seems to find a little adventure along the way.

This book is broken up into two stories. In the first story, The Way Home, we find out where Owly and Wormy’s friendship began… Owly saves Wormy’s life when he
Ann Cox
Lovable Owly doesn't seem to have any friends until he saves a little worm from drowning in a large puddle. In The Way Home he tries to help this new friend find the home that he lost during the storm that created the puddle. In The Bittersweet Summer Owly and his worm friend make friends with a couple of hummingbirds who they learn have to fly south for the winter. These two simple stories told in wordless graphic novel form were irresistibly charming and heartwarming. Runton shows so much emot ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Jun 29, 2013 Jayaprakash Satyamurthy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jayaprakash by:
Excellent stuff. Very sappy, but in such a sweet, friendly and inclusive way that you can't help but warm to it.
Kerry (The Roaming Librarian)
This was really sweet! The style of the comics is similar to that of the "Sunday funnies" I read as a kid (a la Garfield and Peanuts). All black and white, and encased in square boxes, it's a very traditional comics set up. But that doesn't detract from how enjoyable it was to read. I use read loosely because this book was mostly wordless. Readers can interpret events in their own way for the most part; though the illustrations of Owly and his friends were extremely expressive. Especially his ey ...more
I couldn't handle this book. I exploded from the cuteness of it all
Sep 22, 2008 X rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to X by: Q
A sweet story in pictures, with darling characters!
Edgar Meraz
Owly was an amazing book that can appeal to lots of readers. Andy Runton's graphic novel allows even early readers to enjoy it,but I would recommend guided reading for the younger children. Owly displays difficulty in making new friends which is something that could be beneficial for kids to witness. There are a few words in the book but for the most part , the thoughts are represented in images. Overall Owly will probably lead children into wanting more—which is great because there is a whole s ...more
Doug Cornelius
Owly is a cute puffball of a bird and is almost all eyes. The other creatures that populate the stories, including a worm, smaller birds and lightning bugs, are also cute and expressive. There is nothing to actually read in these books other than a few sentences from the books Owly reads. Dialogue takes place through pictographs symbolizing concepts like home and ideas. It is great to take my geeklet through the process of understanding the images as we turn the pages.

I received a copy of the th
In "The Way Home," we meet Owly: a lonely owl who wants nothing more than to make friends, but who seems only to succeed in scaring the other animals away. Dejected after scaring away a group of little birds, Owly stumbles upon a little earthworm who is drowning in the creek. Owly rescues him, nurses him back to health, and helps him to find his way home. Though overjoyed to see his parents again, little Wormy decides that he wants to stay with Owly. This is the beginning of their future as a dy ...more
Join the charming black-and-white-ink world of Owly and his friends as they navigate their forest world using icons and pictures to tell their story. All ages will appreciate both Owly in his sun hat or scarf and the experiences he has learning to help and then befriend the creatures in his forest.

Runton has a way with expressive comic art such that any age reader can discern what charming Owly and his friend, Wormy, are thinking and feeling. Wormy, caught in a thunderstorm, rescued and nursed
Lady Knight
Owly is sure to become a classic series in the children's literature canon! Owly is full of heart, and it's nearly wordless comic book format make it widely appealing. Volume 1 contains two stories:

In "The Way Home" Owly is upset because no matter how hard he tries, no one wants to be his friend, instead everyone is terrified of him! One day he discovers a hurt worm, Wormy, who he nurses back to health. After his recovery, Wormy tells Owly his story of how a rainstorm separated him from his mom
Mi sono imbattuta in Owly, fumetto per bambini di Andy Runton, affatto per caso e sono rimasta troppo intenerita dal gufetto protagonista.

Owly è un simpatico e tenero gufetto, tondo e tutto occhi, protagonista di queste tavole di sole figure.
Il fatto di non avere dialogo, nulla toglie alla vivacità delle storie, anzi.
I disegni sono molto espressivi e ricchi di dettagli, benché realizzati a larghe pennellate bianche e nere, il “dialogo” avviene attraverso immagini che simboleggiano concetti e ide
Runton, A. (2004). Owly: The Way Home and the Bittersweet Summer. Marietta, GA: Top Shelf Productions.


Appetizer: In The Way Home, Owly is alone. None of the littler birds or bugs want to be friends with him. But when Owly finds a worm and nurses him back to health, he sets out on a quest to return his new friend to his family.

In the second story of this book, The Bittersweet Summer, Owly and Wormy meet a couple of hummingbirds. It falls to the friends to save one of the hummingbird
For those who think children's books are only for children, Owly will change your mind.

I am a 22-year-old woman without a child to read to, but I picked up Owly, Vol 1 and began crying within two pages by my sheer empathy for Owly. His character is instantly established and developed: his purity of heart, his loneliness, and his desire to connect with other creatures through his studies (a tiny library in his tree-home). His inability to fly also sent a small shock to my heart, since his perfect
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Andy is the creator of the breakout all-ages series of graphic novels, Owly, featuring a kind-hearted little owl who's always searching for new friends and adventure. Relying on a mixture of symbols and expressions to tell his silent stories, Andy?s work showcases both his gift for characterization and his love of birds, animals, and the outdoors. His animated and heartwarming style has made him a ...more
More about Andy Runton...

Other Books in the Series

Owly (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Owly, Vol. 2: Just a Little Blue
  • Owly, Vol. 3: Flying Lessons
  • Owly, Vol. 4:  A Time to Be Brave
  • Owly, Vol. 5: Tiny Tales
  • Owly Volume 6: A Fishy Situation (Owly, #6)
  • Owly & Wormy, Friends All Aflutter!
  • Owly & Wormy, Bright Lights and Starry Nights
  • Owly: Splashin' Around
  • Owly: Breakin' The Ice
  • Owly: Heartstrings and Ribbons
Owly, Vol. 2: Just a Little Blue Owly, Vol. 3: Flying Lessons Owly, Vol. 4:  A Time to Be Brave Owly, Vol. 5: Tiny Tales Owly & Wormy, Friends All Aflutter!

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