Owl Babies is the best picture book I know for dealing with separation anxiety. A parent of a five year old in my first class introduced me to the story, her daughter cried every morning when she started school. The mother wanted to reassure her daughter that she would be back later like the owls’ mummy. I have bought the book for other parents and children since then and I also bought it for my daughter when she started kindergarten.
The Story: Sarah, Percy and Bill wake up one night and their mummy has gone. They are confused, they have a think, they ask questions, they close their eyes and wish and they wait for her. They are excited when mummy comes home but she can’t understand what all the fuss is about as she always comes back.
This is a beautifully written story which captures the emotions of the little owls perfectly both in the text and in the illustrations. Each different owl personality is revealed in the short sentences of each discussion but children will identify the most with baby Bill’s repetitive refrain, “I want my mommy!”. The coloured text on the dark background is easy to read and Patrick Benson portrays the owls’ emotions really effectively in their expressions. As it is night the pictures are dark and there are shadows and noises. If your child is very sensitive or afraid of the dark you may want to read this book first before you share it.
Age Range: 3 to 7
Author: Martin Waddell / Illustrator: Patrick Benson