Sunday, March 29, 2009

Owl Moon!

Our book today is the 1987 children's classic Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr. It's the story - told in Schoenherr's gorgeous watercolors and Yolen's spare, beautiful prose-poetry - of a father and child who go out "owling" late, late one cold winter night. Once the lonely sound of a distant train whistle (and the dog-calls that respond to it) have stopped, everything is "quiet as a dream," and the two make their way to the forest, with the father stopping every so often to make owl-calls into the black.

Finally they come to a space:

Then we came to a clearing
in the dark woods.
The moon was high above us.
It seemed to fit
over the center of the clearing
and the snow below it
was whiter than the milk
in a cereal bowl.

Here the father calls again, and this time his call is answered from deep in the woods. A large shadow detaches itself from the forest and glides closer:

Pa turned on
his big flashlight
and caught the owl
just as it was landing
on a branch.
"For one minute," the child breathlessly recalls, "three minutes, maybe even a hundred minutes, we stared at one another."

Then the owl pumps its wings and flies silently away, and the father and child are left alone. They turn, hand-in-hand, and start to make their way back to the warmth of home with its one light on in the window. "When you go owling," we're told,

you don't need words
or warm
or anything but hope.
That's what Pa says.
The kind of hope
that flies
on silent wings
under a shining
Owl Moon.

Naturally, Owl Moon is highly recommended for owl-fans of any age.

1 comment:

Cheap Viagra said...

I either hate to read, but this book is different than the others, it's interesting and not boring. It really overcame all my expectations.