Jane Yolen, Owl Moon & the Power of Small Moments
Cover of picture book Owl Moon by Jane Yolen; illustrated by John Schoenherr

When I first started out as a kids book writer several years ago, Jane Yolen’s name was almost as synonymous as Judy Blume’s— but more for picture books, which was what I wanted to write. I had heard of Judy Blume as a kid, though I had never really read any of her books, being more of a Beverly Cleary fan. I don’t remember reading any picture books as a kid, and had never heard of Jane Yolen. But as I was fully ensconsced in this world of writing picture books, I figured I might as well look her up. Owl Moon, written by Jane Yolen, and illustrated by John Schoenherr, continuously came up. Jane Yolen is a poet, many of her books are written in a lyrical style— a style I have come to fully appreciate and emulate in my own work. 

I proceeded to check out Owl Moon from the library. I read it and read it. Until I finally understood the beauty and simplicity of the story. It’s about a little girl and her father, who go owling, on one cold winter night. It’s a story about a relationship between a father and a daughter. A story about an experience, discovering something new and finding the magic in small moments. As Jane Yolen said, and I’m paraphrasing, a story can be made from stretching out a small moment and finding the experience within. That is what Owl Moon does. Nothing really happens in the story. It is quiet, contemplative, but a whole world is created. You feel as if you are that little girl. Going owling for the first time. Her thoughts and excitement, anticipation of seeing that owl after, searching and searching and hearing it. You are there. In that forest, feeling the cold, winter wind, willing yourself to go on, because you know, when you finally do see that owl, it will have all been worth it. 

I love these types of stories. The type of stories that bring you into an experience. I have never been owling. But through Owl Moon, I can imagine what it would be like. And should the opportunity present itself to go owling— I would jump at the chance. 

Order A Walk Through the Redwoods

If you loved this book review, you might also enjoy my debut picture book, A Walk Through the Redwoodsillustrated by Natalia Bruno. You can order it now from your favorite bookstore: Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble.

1 Comment

  1. Elayne

    Great points, Peach! Love Owl Moon, too!