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Owl Moon

Last updated Thursday, January 31, 2008

Author: Jane Yolen
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0399214577
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2008

Synopsis: From amazon.com: A girl and her father go owling on a moonlit winter night near the farm where they live. Bundled tight in wool clothes, they trudge through snow ``whiter than the milk in a cereal bowl''; here and there, hidden in ink-blue shadows, a fox, raccoon, fieldmouse and deer watch them pass. An air of expectancy builds as Pa imitates the Great Horned Owl's call once without answer, then again. From out of the darkness ``an echo/ came threading its way/ through the trees.'' Schoenherr's watercolor washes depict a New England few readers see: the bold stare of a nocturnal owl, a bird's-eye view of a farmhouse. In harmony with the art, the melodious text brings to life an unusual countryside adventure.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Where does this book take place?
•  Have you been to the snow or in a forest?
•  Do you go with your family or friends?
•  How is it different from where we are today?
•  Have you seen a full moon?
•  Have you seen or heard an owl?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you take walks with your dad or parents?
•  What other fun things do you do with your parents?
•  What kinds of things do your parents teach or show you?
•  Are there things your parents do with your older siblings that you want to learn? Will you get to do these things with them when you are older?
•  What do you think an owl sounds like? (Who, Who)
•  Do you think all animals answer back/speak when you call them? (Meow, bark, roar, moo...)
•  Do you think it’s best to look for owls/wildlife when it’s a full moon? Why?

Craft ideas:
•  Make an owl mask using the template provided. Attach the mask with either string or use a popsicle stick to hold up to your face.
•  Make a Valentine’s Day card for your dad or parents. Draw some of the things you like to do on the card. For fun, make the card heart shaped.
•  Bring Ahead Option: Make an owl puppet with a paper bag. Cut out 2 triangle ears and attach. Cut out a larger and longer triangle for the beak and attach to the flap of the paper bag. Draw or cut out eyes and attach. Draw and color feathers on the face and body.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!