Owly, by Andy Runton is a wonderful wordless graphic novel series about an Owl named Owly and his best friend, Wormy. This series is ideal for any age but I think most appropriate for young school age children ages 5 and up. This is also a series that be enjoyed together with a parent.
Owly, The Way Home and The Bittersweet Summer tells the story of how Owly met his best friend, Wormy. The book takes the reader on an adventure about love, friendship and commitment between friends. Throughout both stories, the reader can understand the emotions of each character and succession of events that lead to specific parts of the story from the finite details of the story. For example, in the second story in this book, The Bittersweet Summer, the Owl and Worm miss their hummingbirds, Angel and Tiny because they have to go south for the winter. Within each picture, there is detail and context that gives the reader clues to how the story is going to proceed, which helps improve a child’s ability to pick up on certain specifics of the illustrations and the sequencing of the story.
I have read several books with my daughter in the Owly series and have found the stories to be excellent for retelling stories, creating narratives, helping a reader understand the emotions of a character and the interaction between characters. For example, in the first story about when Owl met Worm, you can ask your child, “How will Owl bring Worm back home to his parents?” or “Why didn’t Worm stay with his parents after he found them?” I believe that learning experiences can occur with any book regardless of whether there are words are not. Having a wordless book, provides the reader with the opportunity to create their own words and thoughts about each picture which can help aid imagination and free thinking. It also helps a child pay attention to the details that make up the story.
Are you a teacher? Check out this lesson plan packet provided by Andy Runton on his website Owly Lesson Plans
Do you want to learn more about Andy Runton and his other books? Check out his website here. On his website you can order signed copies of the book as well as your own Owly plush toy!
Do you want to check out a short video to learn more about Owly?
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