Even little owl has yet to learn
About 'Even little owl has yet to learn'
Little Owl already knows a lot, and if he doesn't know something, he looks it up in his books.
One day it seems that the letters in his book start to dance. What should he do?
A warm picture book about reading pleasure, playing pleasure, prejudices and talking about your insecurities.
Written by Ellen DeLange
Illustrated by Connie Snoek
Story behind the story
Smart children love reading and are often 'hungry' for information. This also brings expectations. In school smart children are considered to know 'everything'. Being smart also put a pressure on a child. In this book I would like to show that being smart is great. At the other hand a child should not forget to play with peers and friends. Its all about finding the right balance which makes you feel happy.
About the illustrator
Connie Snoek is an illustrator based in the Netherlands. After working in theatre and the Himalaya she followed her dream, working full-time as an illustrator. Since then, her work has appeared all over the world at international exhibitions. She received an honorable mention from 3x3 (Magazine of Contemporary Illustration) for her picture book Cas the cat in 2015 (Unpublished at that time) and in 2019 Cas the cat (published in 2017) is selected for BIB 2019, Biennial Illustration Bratislava, by IBBY The Netherlands.
Her work is colorfoul, imaginative and full of details.
In 2021 Connie's and Ellen Delange's title 'The wall of Mr. Mo' was listed in the 'White Raven' catalogue.
White Ravens are recommendations of special books from the world of international children's and youth literature.
'Swish Swoosh, in the snow ' is (will be) available in:
Beautiful Owl is a must
A bright one in colour, a creative one in design and also an endearing illustration on the cover. A title where you first read over the word 'even'. 'Owl' implies the smart one, then you see in smaller letters also 'still has to learn' and that is exactly the essence of the story. You immediately recognize Connie Snoek's illustration style.
An earlier picture book 'The wall of mister Mo' showed that a collaboration between De Lange & Snoek is valuable. This title is included in the White Ravens 2021. A beautiful picture book in both text and drawing. “Even little Owl has yet to learn” is this too.
Owls are considered wise, with their beaks in a book and a story character who can always be consulted. So far, the young 'Owl' is a stereotypical character. He does not play outside with friends, because he feels a reading obligation to gain knowledge so that he can answer their questions. He reads day and might and goes straight to the library every day after school. Until something strange happens. All the letters begin to wobble on the book pages. Little Owl can't read a single word. He goes home discouraged. Even at home reading is not possible.
The next day at school, he avoids reading.
After school is finished he immensely goes home. 'What's wrong little Owl?' she asks. Owl has to get over his hesitation, but still tells what is going on. Mother Owl thinks she knows what's happening, she even has a solution at hand. Grandpa's glasses come out.
A conversation shows him that he doesn't always have to be the smartest by having an answer to everything and that he doesn't always have to read. He may learn something every day, but playing together with the other animals is also important for young owls.
A younger child will first be focused on Owl. Reading at school and in the library or at home sleeping or talking with Mother Owl. In addition, the animal friends such as Frog, Mouse or Squirrel will be recognized, but also the ladybug that repeatable shows up everywhere. If you look more closely at the illustrations, you will discover that the treetop that seems to be represented by a red letter slowly takes on a different shape during the blurred vision and is then shown in negative. How nice it is to discover that you can find little propellers under trees or even recognize leaves in the clipped illustration shapes. You see these shapes creatively in playground equipment and school benches.
Not only can you use the maple seedlings that can be found outside for an autumn assignment in this way, but you can also experience that through emotion shapes can be sharper or rounder and can thus represent feelings. A situation is represented by a few lines or an object. E.g. a house with a blue line or a library a round shape and see how the word 'far' is subtly rendered. Humor is reflected in the animals' snout expressions, while little Owl's posture shows various emotions. The perspective has been nicely applied. Large and small, near and far or chosen color and shape convey the sharpness of vision or the feeling of the moment. As soon as little Owl feels less insecure, you will see the sun appear.
The text is easy to understand for preschoolers and sufficient guidelines have been given for a further discussion. For children in elementary school, this story gives even more opportunity to discuss topics related to prejudices and uncertainties, whereby the need to wear glasses is probably also discussed. The illustrations are thoughtful and of a beautiful complex simplicity that keeps you looking. A living world is expressed in a few colours. Some are definitely worth to frame.
A beautiful and strikingly warm picture book with deeper thoughts and emotions in which the importance of reading and having fun playing is paramount. No one benefits from prejudices and uncertainties. Recommended for approx. 4 to 5 years and up. Ria Bregman, Hebban.nl