Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Otto the Owl Who Loved Poetry* by Vern Kousky
Otto the Owl Who Loved Poetry
by Vern Kousky
Ages 3-7 32 pages Nancy Paulsen Books February 2015 Hardcover    

It’s fitting that the moon seems to light up Otto the owl while he stands on his tree branch stage at night, because he’s a poet and he stands out from the crowd.

Otto likes to spend his time making friends with those animals which the other owls hunt, and reading and reciting poetry--sometimes by Emily Dickinson and T.S. Eliot, other times his own poems. Although the mice are receptive to his poetry, the owls in the forest tease him and call him names.

Instead of letting this negativity get him down, Otto channels his feelings into a new poem about his sadness. When he shares it with the moon, they both smile. His crowd of admirers soon grows, and because he doesn’t run and hide, the owls begin to listen and they too holler, “More! More!” when he finishes a poem.

Readers can see who wrote the five poem excerpts included in this book on the last page of the story. The mixed media and digital illustrations are set at night in the forest. The starry sky changes from grayish-black to bluish-purple as the night wears on. The animal have round soft bodies and big expressive eyes. Shadows add mood to the scene.

This book introduces children to lyrical poetry, rhyming poetry, silly poems, and famous poets. After writing their own short poem about a food or a sensation or a friend (the ones in the book are two to eight lines in length), children in a classroom could share their writing with one another just like the animals do in the story, or perhaps they could illustrate the poems in the book:
“The cold wind burns my face,
and blows its frosty pepper up my nose…”


click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Tanya Boudreau/2015 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (