Owly: The Way Home – Andy Runton

 Owly: The Way Home – Andy Runton, Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 9781338300666, 2020

Format: ARC (Hardcover available February, 2020)

Genre: Graphic Novel

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

 What did you like about the book? The Owly books were created by author/illustrator Andy Runton as a way to show young readers how to be compassionate and supportive of  others. This book reinforces that message by showing a kind-hearted owl caring for others in the woods. In the first chapter entitled “Finding Home”, Owly is desperately trying to make new friends. He provides seeds to little birds and even helps release some trapped fireflies, but these creatures are afraid of Owly so they do not stick around to be his new friends. It is not until Owly meets a very distressed worm (Wormy) that he discovers true friendship. In the next chapter entitled “Flying Home”, Owly and Wormy team up to help a pair of hummingbirds. These tiny birds get into all kinds of trouble but Owly and Wormy work together to help them–now increasing their little friend group even more. What is great about this chapter is that the reader learns a little bit more about hummingbirds such as what they eat and where they live.

The ARC that I reviewed contained illustrations in black and white but the final version will be in full color. I have seen the other Owly books and the illustrations are colorful and detailed so I am sure this will please many graphic novel fans.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of seven and ten. If children enjoy graphic novels or even the other Owly books, I am sure they will enjoy this as well. There are more pictures and symbols than text so that is a plus for young readers that do not want to be too bogged down with a wordy story. Much of the story is seen through the illustrations and the expressions on the characters in the story. There is also strong use of symbols such as a horseshoe for good luck, a cash register to show that something costs money, a circle with a line through it to show that something should not be done, and a question mark to show concern or worry about something–just to name a few.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries.

Where would you shelve it? Graphic Novels

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, cute book with a very positive message.

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: January 13, 2020


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