Book Review: Owl Moon

OwlMoonCoverWe haven’t featured many books on Fair Play and frankly, that’s an oversight. We love to read, a passion kindled by Fair Play Supermom and dad and their dedication to providing a constant stream of new reading material. We’re going to make a concerted effort to feature more books on Fair Play, beginning today with the Caldecott Medal-winning Owl Moon, by Janet Yolen. Later this week we will revisit another favorite Caldecott Medal Winner, Mirette on the High Wire.

We have had Owl Moon in the family rotation for a long time. It is the story of a little girl and her father who go out on a nighttime walk in search of owls. The text is richly descriptive of the New England woods they are traversing.

OwlMoonOwlBeing a Caldecott Medal winner, the pictures are stunning. They capture well the magic of a fresh snow in the moonlight. John Schoenherr, the illustrator, draws the New England countryside with the intimacy that can only come from knowing that terrain well. It is these images that (I venture to guess) drew my parents to the book. The farm and town look remarkably like Craftsbury, VT, a small town in the northeast corner of Vermont where we have spent many snowy winters.

OwlMoonFarmPerhaps our favorite element of this book, and the reason it is an excellent feature for the blog, is the depiction of the child and her gender. In fact, she is never referred to by any gendered pronouns. Her clothes are fairly neutral. You can only see a little ponytail in some of the drawings. By not focusing on her gender, Yolen and Schoenherr have created a story in which any child can imagine themselves.

OwlMoonGirlAnd after all, isn’t that often the magic of reading?

For the gorgeous portrayal of a father-child bond and for its gender fair nature, Owl Moon earns our highest rating, five pinwheels:

OwlMoonCoverSupport Fair Play and purchase Owl Moon here

Book Review is an ongoing series where we review one or several books, often pertaining to a theme or holiday. This week we are inspired by some visually stunning Caldecott Medal winners. To request a review of a particular type of book, leave a comment on Facebook or our Review Page!

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