Carmen's Reviews > Owl at Home

Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel
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it was amazing
bookshelves: children, classics, fiction, traditionally-published, he-says, american-author, published1975
Recommended for: Kids; Parents
Read 21 times. Last read January 23, 2016.

Even though this book was published in 1975, it is still very beloved and a classic for children nowadays. I always read children this book and children continue to talk about and love this book. Not only was Lobel a great author, but his illustrations are on point.

Some people adore Frog and Toad Are Friends and the other Frog and Toad books - I agree. They are great. Some people love Mouse Soup. But for me, the best Lobel book will always be Owl At Home.

1.) The first story, THE GUEST, is about the time Owl heard a banging and pounding on the door.

Owl was just trying to sit in front of the fire and eat his buttered toast and hot pea soup when he hears someone knocking on the door.
http://thebookmamablog.files.wordpres...

It is winter. Winter is knocking at the door.

Owl decides to be kind and let Winter into the house.

But Winter is a terrible houseguest.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1v_fg3KAuyI...

It freezes the soup and puts out the fire. It covers the inside of Owl's house in snow.

Finally, Owl kicks Winter out of the house.
Owl made a new fire in the fireplace. The room became warm again. The snow melted away. The hard, green ice turned back into soft pea soup. Owl sat down in his chair and quietly finished his supper.

This story is amazing. Wintery and spooky.

2.) STRANGE BUMPS

This is one of my favorite stories in life.

Owl is going to bed when he sees two strange lumps under the blanket.

Owl lifted up the blanket.
He looked down into the bed.
All he could see was darkness.
Owl tried to sleep, but he could not.


This scary, frightening tale is a precursor to the Grudge. The little ones will be reading this book, and then when they are teenagers looking for a scary movie they will pop in THE GRUDGE or maybe JU-ON and the will get the shit scared out of them and they will remember this little story.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jx-pZVKELPA...

"What if those two strange bumps grow bigger and bigger while I am asleep?" said Owl.

"That would not be pleasant."


No, it would not be pleasant. It would be scary as fuck.

Of course, the "joke" is that Owl is lying in bed terrified of his own feet.

Children will find this scary, yet ridiculous, in a way you swear no one could pull off, but Lobel does.

Amazing story, A+

3.) TEAR WATER TEA

Owl thinks of things that are sad in order to cry. Then he boils his tears for tea and drinks it.

Again, just the exact right combination of 'fun' and 'creepy as fuck.' Children will be delighted.

http://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/7...

4.) UPSTAIRS AND DOWNSTAIRS

Owl always wonders about the parts of his house he is not in. When he is upstairs, he wonders how things are going downstairs. When he is downstairs, he always wonders how things are going upstairs.

"There must be a way," said Owl, "to be upstairs and to be downstairs at the same time."

He runs very fast up and down the stairs. Eventually he despairs. The book ends with

"When I am up," said Owl, "I am not down. When I am down, I am not up. All I am is very tired!"

Owl sat down to rest. He sat on the tenth step because it was a place that was right in the middle.


http://georgeshannon.files.wordpress....

5.) OWL AND THE MOON

Okay, last story.

Owl goes to the beach at night. He watches the moon for a long time.

"If I am looking at you, moon, then you must be looking back at me. We must be very good friends."

But when he leaves the beach, the moon starts following Owl home. No matter how many times Owl tells moon that moon shouldn't do this, moon keeps following him.
http://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/2...

Eventually,

The moon went behind some clouds.

Owl looked and looked.

The moon was gone.

"It is always a little sad to say good-bye to a friend," said Owl.

Owl came home. He put on his pajamas and went to bed.

The room was very dark.

Owl was still feeling sad.


But when he looks out his window, he sees that moon has followed him all the way home. Then he is not as sad, sleeping in the moon's glowing light coming through his window.
...


Tl;dr - This book has been and always will be a classic for young children. Not only are children delighted in a (smart, amazingly-written) book that they can read ALL ON THEIR OWN, but Lobel's stories and illustrations brilliantly combine spooky images and concepts with a foolish owl that the children can laugh at. Wonderful, amazing, and also serving as "baby's first scary book" (which has the safety catch of not being too scary), Lobel brings us a true marvel.

Another amazing thing I've noticed is that children will remember these stories (especially STRANGE LUMPS) for their entire lives and even adults' faces light up when you remind them of this book. Wintery and scary. A true classic from 1975.

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Quotes Carmen Liked

Arnold Lobel
“Owl felt happy as he filled his cup. It tastes a little bit salty, he said, but tear-drop tea is always very good.”
Arnold Lobel, Owl at Home


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November 22, 2015 – Shelved
January 23, 2016 – Started Reading
January 23, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna Great review! Thanks for including the links to all those wonderful illustrations. I'm a Frog and Toad fan, but I enjoyed this book, too. The author's stories are simple, but so memorable. And as you said, his books are great for beginning readers. My daughters and I give everything he's written a big thumbs up. :)


Carmen Lobel is such a wonderment. I love his books so much, but this one is my all time favorite, probably due to it's spooky undertones. I'm glad you and your daughters also enjoyed this!

Thank you, Donna!


Joan This is my all time favourite children's book. I used to read it to children of all ages when I was a teacher - reading it 'upside down' so that they could enjoy the illustrations. In the end I more or less knew it off by heart. Strange Bumps is my favourite, closely followed by Tear Water Tea. ... Mashed potatoes left on a plate because nobody wanted to eat them.. ;)


Carmen Ah! Joan! I'm so glad you understand me! Definitely one of the best children's books, IMO. Just like you, I have been passing it on to other generations. Strange Bumps is also my favorite!

Thank you!


message 5: by Caroline (new)

Caroline ""What if those two strange bumps grow bigger and bigger while I am asleep?" said Owl.

"That would not be pleasant."

No, it would not be pleasant. It would be scary as fuck."

HAHA!

Good review, Carmen. :]


message 6: by Jaksen (new)

Jaksen Own this book, too, and love it!


Carmen Caroline wrote: """What if those two strange bumps grow bigger and bigger while I am asleep?" said Owl.

"That would not be pleasant."

No, it would not be pleasant. It would be scary as fuck."

HAHA!

Good review..."


LOL LOL Thanks, Caroline! I truly think this book is a little bit scary!


Carmen Jaksen wrote: "Own this book, too, and love it!"

Thanks, Diane! It's a great one to own!!!


Michael Hitchcock Delighted to see someone else recognized the horror elements here. I thought I might be alone in recognizing the creepy lonely madness lurking there within the fun.


Carmen Michael wrote: "Delighted to see someone else recognized the horror elements here. I thought I might be alone in recognizing the creepy lonely madness lurking there within the fun."

LOL You're definitely not alone, Michael! I like this spooky book - good Halloween stories for babies. :)


Cheryl Ages 0-106, actually.


Carmen Cheryl wrote: "Ages 0-106, actually."

LOL touché


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