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  • Writer's picturePicture Book Snob

Blog Tour: Know it Owl by Emma Perry and Andrea Stegmaier

Five reasons why we love this book and why you will too!

Owl loves to help. She is full of ideas and incredibly enthusiastic about sharing them. Unfortunately, Owl can also be a little overbearing at times. When she spots someone building a den, she can’t help but interfere and ‘owlsplain’ as she reveals all her top tips at every step of the project. Will Owl’s advice be welcome or will she alienate her woodland friends? There are so many reasons to love this wonderful modern fable about the perils of meddling too much but here are our top five...

1) It’s so funny Owl often states the obvious and her instructions tend to be quite comical, such as: ‘Don’t build a den at the top of a slide. Seems like fun, but believe me, it won’t work out. It’s a slippery slope.’ There are lots of jokes that will appeal to adults as well as children and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, including my own family’s favourites: the angry bear and the ‘keep out!’ sign. I was also particularly amused by the phrase, 'Owl be back.'

2) The illustrations are gorgeous

I love how cosy and cute the entire book is. The colour palette is really atmospheric and the forest is so inviting. There is so much going on in the background and at the edges of the pages. We see ladybirds dozing in hammocks, accordion-playing mice, cats-cradle-playing insects, mushrooms converted to ice-cream parlours (perhaps with Owl’s advice!), nests full of baby birds, and much more! The den and the tree house are so beautiful all lit up in the darkness and my kids absolutely love looking at them. Readers feel they are being given a glimpse of a secret – and magical – nocturnal world. The endpapers are among the most beautiful and interesting I’ve ever seen and even include an elaborate cupcake conveyance system at the back!

3) It shows two sides of the same story Although Owl narrates the book, the images show us how her words are being received. We get to see both sides and we also have more compassion for Owl than we might if we were on the receiving end of her unsolicited guidance. We see how her intentions are good, even if their delivery can be frustrating. We also see how and why constantly intervening in the actions of others might upset them.

4) It teaches children how to interact harmoniously

Children can see the effect Owl’s behaviour has on the other creatures and learn from her mistakes. By seeing the story from the perspective of Owl as well as from those she advises, they can develop empathy for even slightly annoying characters. We see how Owl makes amends which shows that redemption is always possible and how relationships can survive bumps in the road. As the characters are animals, without any distinguishing physical human features or even genders, all children can identify with them and insert themselves in the story (Owl's gender is never stated - I just feel she is female - perhaps she reminds me of myself!). All of this will help children navigate their own social situations, with siblings at home or with classmates at school.

5) It encourages little readers to make their own dens Children will be inspired to make their own hiding places and have fun following Owl’s advice – or pursuing their own plans – as preferred. In addition to all these reasons why you need to add Know it Owl to your bookshelf, a donation of 3% of the cover price goes to Place2Be, a children's mental health charity.

Know it Owl was published on 14th July 2022 by Storyhouse. Thanks so much to the lovely people in Storyhouse for sharing this book with us and for inviting us on the tour celebrating its release. Visit the rest of the stops on Instagram to learn more about Owl and her friends: Monday July 25: @teenyreaders Tuesday July 26: Wednesday July 27: @picturebooksnob (me!) Thursday July 28: @literate.littles Friday July 29: @missdorransyearone

The fabulous endpapers


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