As residents of Shanghai will know, quietness and nature can be difficult to find amongst the abundance of skyscrapers throughout the city. In contrast, Owl Moon provides a breath of fresh air with a beautifully written story about a young girl, her father and a night of owling, endowing readers with a sense of delightful tranquility.
Distinguished author Jane Yolen’s graceful storytelling follows a young girl and her father as they embark on a nighttime journey through the snowy woods in search of an owl. Though most of us have not been owling before, Jane Yolen’s storytelling captivates us and brings us into the scenes with elegant descriptions. The cold of the winter is an 'icy hand palm-down' on the little girl’s back. The snow is 'whiter than the milk in a cereal bowl.' The scarf feels 'furry and wet' over the little girl’s mouth. Paired alongside John Schoenherr’s vivid watercolors, the story comes to life, perfectly describing the ambience of the countryside at night with visually breathtaking imagery. Together they create a remarkable discovery of children’s literature.
The simple, yet descriptive language of the book is perfect for not only children to read and enjoy, but also learn how to write their own stories in the same manner. Owl Moon is not about any life-changing incident, yet the language is so powerful it creates a world of wonder for the readers. It sends a message to young audiences that a story itself doesn’t have to be astounding and dramatic to be interesting; it is how it is written that makes it so captivating.