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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  5,930 Ratings  ·  320 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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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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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.
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 s
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 c ...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!

The secon
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 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.
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
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
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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, #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
  • Owly: Splashin' Around
  • Owly: Breakin' The Ice
  • Owly: Heartstrings and Ribbons