The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard

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The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard

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Buy The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: A timeless tale about overcoming fears, this is a must for any young readers
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: September 2016
Publisher: Egmont
ISBN: 978-1405281843

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If you think you know everything about owls, think again. Even the basic things that you THINK are a given may turn out to be wrong. Plop is an adorable 8 week old baby owl and he has the feathers and the beak and the all-around owl look, with two crucial differences: he's not very good at flying, and he's afraid of the dark. Which, for a nocturnal creature, is a bit of a problem.

This is an adorable, simple, chapter book that was first published in 1968 which means you may well have read the story in your own childhood. Many in my office had, and when this new edition arrived it brought back universally happy memories about Plop and his family and friends. Plop has a lot of character, a lot of personality… and a rather stubborn streak. He knows he doesn't like the dark, he refuses to leave the nest at night and he demands his parents bring him back masses of food while he sits at home and waits. The thing with barely going out at night, though, is that you end up not being that tired during the day, so when his parents need sleep, his mother sends him out and about. In the relative safety of daylight, he is happy to explore and make new friends, and along the way he meets lots of people who explain why they love the dark. But, each day he returns home, opinions resolutely intact: they might like the dark but he still doesn't, thank you very much.

This is a very cute and very imaginative story about learning to overcome fears. In Plop's case, he is presented with lots of evidence on why dark can be fun, kind, fascinating, even necessary. And, eventually, he warms to the idea. It's a gentle tale where he gets to move at his own pace and figure things out to his own schedule.

I loved the characterisation in this story. Plop is an owl who interacts with humans and with other animals, but even when he's at home with his parents you can see how like you they are. When he is cheeky, he gets told off, when he's loud he's shushed. The interaction between Mrs Barn Owl and Mr Barn Owl probably flew right by me as a kid, but reading as an adult I had to smile.

The book is well structured with lots of short chapters that make it manageable. There are a few less usual words, like gnarled, but for the most part it's challenging yet achievable, and very enjoyable. The pictures help bring some of the details to life, and make it less scary, and this edition has new bonus materials at the back which are fun to look through when the story is over.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review. If you like the sound of this, also have a look at The Penguin Who Wanted To Find Out by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard.

Buy The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson and Paul Howard at Amazon.com.

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