Srinivasan, Divya. 2011. LITTLE OWL’S NIGHT. New York: Penguin. ISBN 9780670012954 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-K]
Little Owl flies through the dark night watching other nocturnal animals and noticing the beauty of the night forest. The possum family waddles along, moths flutter toward the moon, frog croaks softly, and cricket chirps smartly as the fog rolls in and hovers just overhead. Finally, Little Owl heads home and asks Mama to tell him how night ends. “The moon and stars fade to ghosts, spiderwebs turn to silver threads,” as Mama speaks these words, the sun begins to rise and Little Owl falls fast asleep.
First-time author Divya Srinivasan pairs lyrical, descriptive text with crisp, bold illustrations to create an engaging nighttime story. Little Owl’s big, circular eyes and the animals’ distinguishing characteristics leap from the black background. Srinivasan’s precise word choice perfectly describes the activity of the night forest and the emerging morning. This comforting book truly celebrates the delightful details of night and reassures young readers of its charm.
The book can prompt a discussion of nocturnal animals. The children might list those featured in the book, look for the action of each animal (for example, the possums waddle, the hedgehog sniffs), and act each movement out. Readers can also compare the night to the day and even work together to create a companion tale highlighting the day from another animal’s point of view.
Little Owl is composed of simple shapes (circles, ovals, triangles, diamond). Children might enjoy creating their own Little Owl and other animals from construction paper shapes.
Other books highlighting the attributes of the night:
Ipcar, Dahlov Zorach. THE CAT AT NIGHT. 9781934031230
Na, Il Sung. A BOOK OF SLEEP. 9780375962233
Yolen, Jane. OWL MOON. 9780399214578
By Jill Bellomy