OWL BABIES By Martin Waddell , illustrated by Patrick Benson
OWL BABIES is a picture book that deals with a very sensitive issue that every infant or toddler experiences early on. It is a book about the mental anguish that young ones undergo due to maternal separation and the constant reassurance they need – the belief and trust that every mother would unfailingly return to her young one.
The book zooms into a simple yet critical incident in the lives of three owlets. The setting is a sober conversation among three siblings upon discovering their mommy’s disappearance one night. Waiting is painful. They hope and pray that their mother is out, only to find food, that she is safe and that she would definitely come back to them. The mommy hooter returns. Her unexpected yet expected return makes the owlets ecstatic!
I bought this book around the time my daughter started preschool (after staying at home for a good chunk of her early life) . I would always reassure her that I would pick her up later the same day. She never cried a tear but she would always reiterate my verbal assurance. I think we were able to relate to this book a lot and my daughter felt good about the restored confidence. Even after months, we still read it and enjoy the warmth when the mother owl takes in her babies under her wings.
The incident is uncomplicated and the story is simply written. The visual backdrop of a black tree hole and frightened owls may not be a common sight among the brightly hued, cheerfully written children’s books. However, the vivid pictures will only draw you closer to the actual night. This is probably one of the many books based on this concept, but it is surely a very good book to be read to your little one who needs the reassurance.