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Owl Moon

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  43,111 ratings  ·  2,385 reviews
Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.

But there is no answer.

Wordlessly the two companions walk along, for when you go owling you don't need words. You don't need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn't an owl, but
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 23rd 1987 by Philomel Books (first published 1987)
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Amelia I don't think we ever know. The child I read it to said, "Kate".…moreI don't think we ever know. The child I read it to said, "Kate".(less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  43,111 ratings  ·  2,385 reviews

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Muhtasin Fuad
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Muhtasin by: Ainy
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

It is a sweet and poetic story that tenderly describes the friendship between a father and his daughter. And as well as the close relationship between the human world and nature. It would be a great feeling to read this at bedtime. John Schoenherr's did an excellent job in watercolor illustration. His exquisite watercolors made the story more wonderful.
When you go owling you don't need words or warm or anything but hope.

Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a Shabby Sunday feature @

Owl Moon is a striking story that takes you on a journey through the winter woods in search of owls. The little child has been waiting to go owling with Pa for a very long time. The story rather reads like poetry.

"Our feet crunched over the crisp snow and little gray footprints followed us. Pa made a long shadow, but mine was short and round. I had to run after him every now and then to keep up, and my short, round, s
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
A beautiful children's book with wonderful water color illustrations throughout. I loved the story and recommend this vintage book highly. ...more
Tina Haigler
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, kids, classics
I honestly love this book. It's been one of my favorites for a long time. It was passed down from my oldest daughter to her sister; both read and reread it over and over. The story is lovely with a father and a son actually going out into the snow to try to spot an owl. I never did this as a kid but I think it's a wonderful idea. I honestly wish we lived near woods because I would do this as a family with my children. It makes me remember when I was young and we would do fun things that didn't i ...more
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
Read for my son tonight as a bedtime story. What a beautiful story! Father and daughter quality time. Hiking in the snow and into the woods looking for owls. Her Pa tells her to be silent when go owling. Her Pa makes the whooo-whoo-who sounds to call the owl out. I love the illustration! Snow covered landscape, winter wear on the girl and her dad, and the woods' shadows are gorgeous to look at. I highly recommend this book for father and daughter! ...more
Honestly, at the start of the book I was fooled. As the characters spoke of owling, I assumed they were hunting the owl. I was preparing myself for either death or the kid saved the owls life. It goes to show I haven't heard of owling. Imagine my surprise and relief when I found out what owling really is. I was elated. Owling is wonderful and I would like to do that one snowy night someday.

The art was lovely, simply magic. I love that quiet softness of snow. The kids had read this book before bu
Diana | Book of Secrets
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-childrens-book
A father and daughter take a nighttime walk through the snowy woods in hopes of spotting an owl. Poetic and peaceful. ♥

{Olathe Public Schools Core Literature List, Grade 2}

I have actually read this book when I was a child, but now I have finally got the chance to re-read this book again! “Owl Moon” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Jane Yolen along with illustrations by John Schoenherr and it is about how a young girl goes out with her father to see an owl and experiences the magic of looking at owls all in one night. “Owl Moon” will easily be treasured by many children for years to come!

One late winter night, a girl and her father decided to go out to s
As a teenager (after we had moved to an acreage outside of Calgary, Alberta), I used to go out by myself on cold and clear winter nights with binoculars to observe the moon and stars and listen for coyotes. Reading this lovely little gem of a picture book (and looking at the snowy and peaceful illustrations) gives a similar sensation, cold, yet warm all the same, silent, mysterious, where every sound (and even the very silence) is music and the atmosphere pure delight. Both Jane Yolen's narrativ ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very simple but very calming and soothing tale of a father who takes his smallest child into the woods, owling.

The story is told from the girl's perspective and through her eyes we see and hear and smell the woods, feel how the trees make her feel, and learn what is most important when owling.

Thanks to the illustrator, we get to almost feel the cold and hear the crisp white snow, we see the massive dark trees and since all illustrations are nicely detailed, there is always an animal to discove
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Lovely art and a poetic story about a young girl who goes owling with her father. very picturesque and even though I have never been owling, this makes it sound mysterious and fun.
While some kids may find this boring, take your kids out into the woods or something one night to look for nocturnal animals. Then read this just to add and compare the experience. Lots of fun for the kids. Otherwise I advise, older, patient kids for reading this book.

Again, lots of praise for the artwork. It was beau
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story of a child's first time searching for owls with Father. It brings a beautiful sense of nature and a cold winter night, made warm by the camaraderie of the pair and the child's excitement at finally being able to accompany father on this "grown-up" adventure. The writing style was my favorite part--I thought it was very lyrical and I really enjoyed some of the diction selections; it was unusual without being jarring and really helped convey the mood, IMO.

I didn't like
Lisa Vegan
Feb 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: children who like simple stories and nature/owls
On reread (11/15/10) I’m tempted to change this from 4 to 3 stars, but I guess I’ll leave it.

The watercolor paintings are lovely, just beautiful. However, the father’s facial expression was too fierce for my tastes. So was the owl’s but it seemed fitting for a magnificent wild bird. But, all the paintings highlight the dark, the cold, the quiet so perfectly.

The story is very simple and sedate and I figure some children will like it and some will be bored, or scared. If the father’s expression an
Wilhelmina Jenkins
Apr 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
How did I leave this book off of my list? My grandson and I read this book at least 3 times a week for months and months. I absolutely love the language, the atmosphere, EVERYTHING about this book.
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
We loved this book! What a fun idea! To go on an owl walk! The illustrations were beautiful too! The kids loved it! Great read!
Melissa Coyle
A sweet adventure when a father takes his daughter owling on a cold winter's night. The illustrations by John Schoenherr are wonderful watercolors. ...more
Mariah Roze
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was cute and covered a rare topic!
Crystal Marcos
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
The story of Owl Moon takes place in the bitter cold of the late night hours yet it is a special heartwarming read. I enjoyed the story of the little girl and her father on their owling trip. I never heard of owling until I read this book. I feel I know all about the special outings now. The author gave such a great description. It was also interesting to read that both the author and illustrator had gone owling.

Although this is a Caldecott Medal winner, I am not particularly fond of the illustr
Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a very nice story about a Father and son who go out owling on a bright moonlit night. It is told from the boy's perspective, a good memory of a special time with his Dad.

The illustrations are simple and muted, but do a great job of telling the story on their own. I thought this was a very interestng story, but our girls lost interest a few pages in. Oh well...

This book was selected as one of the books for the July 2016- Quarterly Caldecott discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Chil
Nhi Nguyễn
Beautiful illustrations and great story. The story of a father and his child going owling really makes me want to go owling among the snowy forest myself. Imagine what it would feel like if I ever spotted a Great Horned Owl in the gorgeous winter wonderland! Amazing!
dianne (off seeking immunity)
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
i am clearing out my oversize library - with hundreds of children's books my children last read 20 years ago. Some, like this one, i didn't remember.
It is a gorgeous, evocative walk in the silent winter woods; an almost sacred ritual to see a Great Horned Owl, maybe, as described by a girl on her first "owling". The description of the wait, first to be old enough, brave enough, quiet enough, warm enough - then for the hoped for silent, regal flight of an owl.
Being urban for the majority of my
Hlee Moua
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Owl Moon was an enjoyable book. It was easy to read and follow along. This book again will be a great way to introduce snow and different climate to children that had not experience it before. Also, this book will be a great adventure for children to go owling and also introduce owls and night creatures to the children. I also love the connections between the father and daughter.
Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book but it failed as a read aloud to my 4 year old. She wandered off part way through. For kids older than 4.
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-books
Those illustrations are just amazing, beautiful, touching... As is the story. Definitely a must.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Our son loved this beautiful books.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
What a beautiful book.
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Or how to discuss "Nature" with children. With humans. ...more
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sweet story. Beautiful illustrations. Overall excellent.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Nature and/or Owl Lovers / Anyone Who Loves Winter
A young girl and her father set out for the woods one snowy night, in this lovely, contemplative picture-book, the Caldecott Medal winner for 1988. Aware that she must be very quiet, the girl narrator struggles to keep up with her father, and - when they enter the darkness of the woods themselves - to be brave. Both are necessary, she informs the reader, when one is going owling, something she has been waiting a very long time to be allowed to do. Finally, in a moonlit clearing, with snow whiter ...more
(NS) Panagiota Angelos
Oct 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Owl Moon is a story about a young girl’s father who takes her “owling” for the first time. It is late at night and the girl and her father walk silently into the snowy forest hoping to soon hear an owl hoot. As they walk deeper and deeper into the woods, the father calls out “Whoo-whoo-whoo-whoooo” in hopes of baiting an owl into responding. Anxiously waiting to hear an owl they both stay silent as not to scare away any animals. This story is based on the author’s real life experiences. The auth ...more
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more

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