A Favorite So Far — Owl Sees Owl

I’m not one for absolutes, so when someone asks me about my favorite book of the year, I usually hedge my bet. Well, the delightful Eileen Manes at Pickle Corn Jam asked, and this post is my answer! (Please see below for posts by other readers and writers who share some of their new favorites, too!)

In picture book land, a current favorite of mine is OWL SEES OWL — a lovely, imagistic book that has more going on than first meets the eye.


The text is a reverso poem — a form created by the brilliant Marilyn Singer who popularized it in her spectacular book Mirror, Mirror. (Here’s a great post where she explains the form’s genesis and evolution.)

Laura Godwin, author of OWL SEES OWL, uses the reverso to take sweet owl out into the world — where he sees the night sky and the fall leaves and, eventually, his own reflection — and then to return him home again in the second half of the book — revisiting everything from earlier but with a new perspective.

That perspective’s aided by Rob Dunlavey’s gorgeous, warm, immersive artwork. (You can enjoy all the stages of its development here!)

I think it’s the idea of perspective that really makes this book special for me. It’s simple and quiet — both visually and textually — but it’s saying something big — that the world can be looked at in lots of different ways, through different lenses, at different times and from different angles. That, in fact, the world should be looked at with differing perspectives whenever possible.

Maybe it’s the mad election season, but that feels like a pretty resonant message right now.

Bonus book: For another absolutely gorgeous book that is all about perspective, check out Brendan Wenzel’s THEY ALL SAW A CAT. It’s up there in my top ten this year too. Enjoy!


For more favorites, have a look at these posts, all part of Eileen’s #pcjlinkup! Enjoy!

Cate Berry on The Snurtch
Charnaie Gordon on Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion
Danna Smith on Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
Eileen Manes on Best Frints in the Whole Universe
Henry L. Herz on Return
Karen Santhanam on Mabel and the Queen of Dreams
Kell Andrews on City Shapes
Keyosha Atwater on One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree
Vanessa Roeder on Horrible Bear

Posted on 10/05/2016 05:29 am


  1. picturebookplaydate

    Haven’t heard of Owl Sees Owl but your description makes it sound intriguing. I have seen They All Saw A Cat and it’s amazing – the illustrations capture the text so perfectly, it’s genius!


  2. I love this choice, Liz! I am so glad you were able to join the party! And I was just talking about Brendan Wenzel’s website over on Key’s post. Such gorgeous art!


  3. This book just came onto my radar, and I’m anxious to read it! It looks beautiful! And I love They All Saw a Cat! I almost chose it to review. I’m glad you included it!


  4. We haven’t heard of this book until now, but we’ll be sure to check it out. Thanks for sharing it!


  5. I’m sure we are going to love you this book!!! We loved Mirror Mirror and They All Saw A Cat too! The word “perspective” is a powerful word. It’s a LIFE changing word and a word that kids need to see, know, hear, discuss and learn how to apply it from toddler and up. Do you have recommendations for other picture books or YA books that delve into perspective? Btw great review!!!


  6. any book about owls and birds in general i’m all in! anything that gets kids thinking about nature and maybe getting out into it is huge positive. thanks for the recommendation!


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