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Owly, Vol. 1: The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer

(Owly #1)

by
4.08  ·  Rating details ·  6,627 ratings  ·  418 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. ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 29th 2004 by Top Shelf Productions (first published September 1st 2004)
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⭐️Cordelia⭐️ Get it from your library or buy it from your local bookstore
AJ Kerrigan It certainly can be. For starters, there are two stories in the book so you have a natural stopping point. The first (quicker) story is ~60 pages and …moreIt certainly can be. For starters, there are two stories in the book so you have a natural stopping point. The first (quicker) story is ~60 pages and almost completely wordless, while the second is ~90 pages and also mostly wordless except for one section.

Since most of the book is told through images rather than words, you have a lot of control over pacing. You can blaze through and get the gist of the story, or spend time on each frame to get it more completely. If you're reading with a young child, the book rewards repeat readings and creates a surprising amount of dialogue.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  6,627 ratings  ·  418 reviews


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Patrick
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
...more
Calista
A wordless comic book. Owly is adorable and cute. It's tough being a friendly owl and everyone is afraid of you, but Owly is very sweet and nice and he gains the creatures trust around him.

There are 2 stories in this book. Owly makes a friend and he helps a friend find his way home. Owly has a great big heart. This is black and white. I was expecting color from the cover.

I can see people enjoying this series. It's cute.
...more
Qt
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Seth T.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sam Quixote
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Marie
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, series, comics
This is an 'all ages comic book' that is shocking in it's simplicity and lack of words. The animals make noises and occasionally there are words shown from a book one of the animals is reading, but that’s about it. Conversations are conveyed through bubbles containing pictures. Emotions are expressed by way of pictures. I found it pretty incredible that so much could be conveyed without words, with only some fairly simplistic depictions.

This book is composed of two novellas, each in comic book s
...more
Jess
Nov 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Dave Schaafsma
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Viviana
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
Beth Anne
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-aloud, 2021
Read aloud to the younger kids. I was so excited to see these get reissued with full color illustrations, but I do think they aren’t quite as interesting as an adult now that they have more text. The originals were almost completely wordless and relied on pictures in word bubbles. I still think the stories are very sweet and a great option for a beginning reader.
Sarah Sammis
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The Owly books have been on my radar for a while. I remember reading a review of one of the recent volumes on a book blog I follow. What caught my attention was the sorrowful eyes of the titular character. That, and the fact that he's an owl. Owls have been a part of my life for almost six years now, ever since Sean first fell in love them as a toddler.

So you'd think Sean would be reading Owly too and when I originally checked out Owly Volume 1 by Andy Runton I thought he'd like to look at them
...more
Hobo Joe
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shows how artwork can be so beautiful in a book with no words.
Karissa
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
...more
Chili Public
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-comics
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
...more
Claudia
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
(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
...more
Eden
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 wi
...more
Evelyn Woagh
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2014
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
...more
Jacoba
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 mat
...more
Judy
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a pleasant surprise! I picked it up because there's an owl on the cover. Of course, I expected to like it. Any story that focuses on nature and encourages observation is likely to find its way to my heart. It doesn't hurt that both stories illustrate what it means to be kind.

We added touches of color to the pictures, using tones similar to the frame on the cover. That made it easier for young readers to follow some of the details

Note: Don't expect to learn anything about owls from this
...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.
...more
أحمد
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
A nice read for children. But it lacks the elements to address the adults. I mean REAL adults of course.
Nick
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kids loved Owly! Very well drawn and fun.
DoomFist7
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This series are totally unique!! :D
Destiny Henderson
Wholesome. A cute story that illustrates you can’t be afraid to let your friends leave and the person you may never expect could be your truest friend.

The audience felt very young (like preschool - early elementary), but some older readers might still enjoy it.
Anette Garcia
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone could use a friend like Owly. 💞✨
Gwen Maddela-potter
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2021
I thought I'd start off my reading challenge with an easy read :D ...more
Jim Shaner
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it! Cute and sweet.
Hannah Conway
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was super sweet. I love owly and their adventures. It a perfect book to read with my daughter also for her to read on her own.
Arline
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely precious. Both of my boys (9 and 6) loved it, and so did I!
Cathy
Nov 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-comics
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
...more
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119 followers
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

Other books in the series

Owly (8 books)
  • Owly, Vol. 2: Just a Little Blue (Owly, #2)
  • Owly, Vol. 3: Flying Lessons (Owly, #3)
  • Owly, Vol. 4:  A Time to Be Brave (Owly, #4)
  • Owly, Vol. 5: Tiny Tales (Owly, #5)
  • Owly Volume 6: A Fishy Situation (Owly, #6)
  • Owly  Wormy, Friends All Aflutter!
  • Owly  Wormy, Bright Lights and Starry Nights

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