Owl Babies is a delightful story of three young owls Sarah, Percy, and Bill, who live in a hole in the trunk of a tree with their mummy.
One night they wake up and find their mummy has gone and they start to wonder where she is. They leave the trunk to sit out on the branches and Sarah and Percy wonder where she is, but the wood is dark and a little bit scary and they start to worry that maybe something has happened to her. The owls huddle together for reassurance and make a wish that she would come home to them… and she does! The owls are so excited to see her and the story finishes with mummy asking why they were worried as they knew she would come home, and the owls agree, they knew mummy would.
The story has some lovely elements that engage young children for example, repeated refrains such as “I want my mummy” and “the baby owls thought – all owls think a lot” that they can join in with. As well as movements they can copy such as flapping, dancing and bouncing when mummy returns, or hopping onto branches and huddling together when they feel scared.
There are also elements that reassure for example a sense of home and family – while home is a hole in a tree in a dark wood, it feels safe and secure with bits and bobs mummy has brought in. The owls huddle together, invoking a sense of security and family togetherness, and when mummy returns, she says they know she would return, and they admit they did.
The story provides some simple maths concepts such as estimating time when mummy will return; and large and small branches for Sarah and Percy and an old bit of ivy for Bill, demonstrating the size difference in the owls.
Knowledge of the natural world is demonstrated with mention of owls hunting at night and liking mice to eat; that the fox is a threat and is a predator that owls need to be wary of and the wood is full of other creatures at night; and that natural items like leaves, twigs and feathers are used for nesting.
The book is a delight for young children. “Children love the story because it is repetitive, easy to learn and relatable” says Kimberley Jeffrey, Deputy manager at Stars Pre-school Dogsthorpe. “The staff love that it shows children parents always return, with an easy to follow story supporting their PSE development. It supports children to be more at ease with possible anxieties of being left and to feel they can express their feelings. Lots of the parents commented on how their children remembered it and joined in with it.”
If you are interested in finding out more about Owl Babies, there is a lovely picture book animation on YouTube that you can share with young children – click here to access:
There is also information about Owls and the types of owls you can see in the UK from the RSPB website https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/owl-family/