Sunday, April 17, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book One hundred and seven

A few years ago I came across the Owly graphic novels for the first time. In these books, Andy Runton tells stories featuring a little owl and his best friend, who is a worm. The artwork is in black and white, and the stories are wordless. In lieu of words, Andy Runton uses symbols. Children enjoy figuring out what the symbols mean, and the characters are quite lovable.

For today's title I have a review of the first Owly and Wormy picture book. You can find out more about the Owly and Wormy graphic novels by visiting the Andy Runton page on the Top Shelf Productions website.

Wordless Picture book
For ages 4 to 6
Simon and Schuster, 2011, 978-1-4169-5774-4
   One day Owly and his friend Wormy are sitting under a tree when Wormy wonders where all the pretty butterflies are going. Owly explains that butterflies like flowers, and so the two friends go to the local nursery to buy some flowers that will attract butterflies. Mrs. Raccoon at the nursery recommends that Owly should plant a milkweed plant near his home. That night the friends go to bed, hopeful that their milkweed plant will attract lots of butterflies to their home.
   Unfortunately, things don’t quite work out as planned. No butterflies come to visit the milkweed. Instead, two little caterpillars start to eat the plant. Wormy gets very upset because the milkweed plant is for butterflies and not for caterpillars. When the caterpillars explain that they thought the plant was their new home, Wormy and Owly change their mind. After all, it would be unkind to evict the caterpillars. The little creatures have to have somewhere to live.
   Soon Owly and Worm and the caterpillars are the best of friends. They share many wonderful times together, and Owly even invites the caterpillars to come and live in his house. The caterpillars explain that they have no time left and that it is time for them to go. Sure enough, while Owly and Wormy are planning a surprise good away party, the two caterpillars disappear. Poor Owly and Wormy are terribly upset. Will they ever see their delightful little friends again?
   For several years now Andy Runton has been delighting young readers with his Owly and Wormy graphic novels. Now he gives his readers a story in a picture book format that is full of heartwarming charm. Using symbols instead of words, Andy Runton gives pre-readers a unique way to ‘read’ a book on their own. 

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