Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin, illustrated by Rob Dunlavey

Published by Schwartz and Wade Books 

Summary:  Each page has just four words on it, starting with “Home Mama Brother Sister”.  Owl leaves the nest for a nighttime flight (“Soar Glide Swoop Swoosh”).  In the middle of the book, he lands on a branch over the water and sees his reflection: Owl Sees Owl.  The rest of the book’s pages mirror the first half of the book; as the owl returns home, there’s a page with “Swoosh Swoop Glide Soar”, the reverse order of those same words on an earlier page.  Finally, the owl lands back in his nest, and the last page reads, “Sister Brother Mama Home”.  40 pages, ages 3-8.

Pros:  This reminded me of Marilyn Singer’s reverso poetry books, in which the second verse is the opposite of the first, changing the meaning.  There are plenty of strong nouns and verbs, since each word has to do a lot of work to tell the story.  The pictures perfectly capture Owl’s silent nighttime world.

Cons:  It took me a few readings to realize the second half of the book was the reverse of the first half; without guidance, kids may miss this cool feature.

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