While I love all children's books, I especially appreciate the ones that can be equally enjoyed by adults. One of my favorites is the Owly series by Andy Runton. These graphic novels follow the adventures of Owly, a kind, gentle owl with a good heart. Along with his sidekick Wormy and their forest pals, they discover important lessons about themselves and what it means to be a true friend. These are heartwarming tales, told with a simple charm that just makes you feel good after having read them. Owly's ability to solve problems with kind understanding rather than anger seems to be the central point of the books. The unique thing about the Owly series is that the stories are told without words. Instead, Runton relies on the pictures to reveal the story. One would think this would be a difficult task to accomplish, but his mixture of symbols and expressions make it easy to understand what's happening.
Owly's early beginnings are also unique. Owly began as a simple doodle on a post-it note, a message to Runton's mother to let her know what time he went to bed as it was always late. Years later, the notes would serve as an inspiration and eventually unfold into the Owly graphic novels. Runton received the prestigious Eisner Award for Owly, an amazing and deserving accomplishment. I love the fact that Owly is not just a bunch of cute drawings (although there's no question that they are adorable.) It's so much more than that. Adults can enjoy the stories with their kids, but at the same time read beyond what's shown in the pictures. The character of Owly has human emotions and finds himself in situations that we can relate to. There's a lot we can learn from this wise owl, and if we look hard enough, I'm sure we could all see a bit of ourselves in him. I'm looking forward to sharing the wonderful world of Owly with my son when he's a little older.
There are currently four Owly volumes available, with the fifth one coming out this summer. You can buy the books and other Owly merchandise from Top Shelf Productions. Also, check out Andy's website for more Owly info and other fun stuff. If you're looking for a great book to read with your kids, give Owly a try. You'll be glad you did.
WANT TO WIN? One winner will receive a signed copy of Owly Volume four: A TIME TO BE BRAVE. To enter, leave a comment on this post prior to Wednesday, June 25 at midnight. Tell me either what books you enjoy reading with your children, or your favorite children's book growing up. Please provide a valid e-mail address so I can contact you if you win. Winner must provide a U.S. or Canadian mailing address.
*UPDATE: The winner is #10 cancan. Congratulations!