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Owly, Vol. 1: The Way Home (Owly, #1)
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Owly, Vol. 1: The Way Home

(Owly #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  6,339 ratings  ·  352 reviews
All Owly wants is a friend...

Owly is a good-natured little owl, and he's always helping those around him. But despite his kindness, he seems to frighten would-be friends away before they even give him a chance, just because he's an owl. That all changes, though, once Owly meets Wormy. Like Owly, Wormy is in need of a good friend, too -- someone who can be counted on for a
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Graphix (first published September 1st 2004)
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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)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,339 ratings  ·  352 reviews

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Start your review of Owly, Vol. 1: The Way Home (Owly, #1)
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.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Seth T.
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 ...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!

Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, comics, series
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
Nov 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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 ...more
Sarah Sammis
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Chili Public
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Summary: Owly, an adorable, friendly, and helpful owl finds himself in an adventure everyday he steps outside! For story one, The Way Home, Owly discovers a worm that's been separated from his family in the rain. Owly and his new friend go on an adventure to try and find his way back home. For story two, The Bittersweet Summer, Owly learns about the cycle of migration and soon discovers that his two hummingbird friends can't stay with him for the winter. Owly keeps their plants alive and is glad ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Evelyn Woagh
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
[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.
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
A nice read for children. But it lacks the elements to address the adults. I mean REAL adults of course.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series are totally unique!! :D
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kids loved Owly! Very well drawn and fun.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an entirely wordless graphic novel.

The Way Home - Owly just wants to help out those around him, but every time he does something kind, everyone seems to run from him in fear. One day he saves a worm from drowning and nurses him back to health. Initially the worm is frightened of him too, but realizes Owly’s good heart. The set off on an adventure to reunite the worm with his parents. The worm family is happy to be back together and Owly sets off for home again, but is sad to be leaving
Monica Hocking
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome Book! Me feel like me in heaven! , very little words, but such exciting pictures to take you time and soak it all in!. Owly is a humble character, he is a little lonely. He rescues Wormy in a flood. He Help Wormy find his family again. They become life long friends. Now they are living together and experience life's adventures together. Such a cool book. No can wait to get to other 4 books!
Hannah Givens
One of my all-time favorite graphic novels. Too sweet for words, which is great because it's a wordless comic -- appropriate for all ages. Several little stories about Owly and his friends learning to be friendly to each other. They learn to give to each other, not just share. They're innocent without being weak. It leaves a beautiful sense of serenity behind. The whole series is at the same high level, too.
Extremely adorable account of Owly and their friends having adventures. This one includes the story of how Owly met their best friend, Wormy. As the instalment I previously read this has a lot of good lessons about friendship, bravery, and nature conservation. It's perfect for advanced illiterate children and second language learners. You can also "read" this story to others and make up dialogue and words yourself.
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
In my exploration of graphic novels, I discovered this fun story of friendship with fun owl artwork. While this is virtually all pictures, and I wish there had been more text, this might be a good springboard to help boost students' narrative writing. I could really see how you could build one's thoughts and writing around portions of the illustrations. Could be a good teaching tool.
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I couldn't handle this book. I exploded from the cuteness of it all
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Oct 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an adorable book. Love the fact that this is a wordless graphic novel and the characters "speak" in pictures/illustrations. makes you pay attention to what emotions Owly is demonstrating.
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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

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