Just before the Easter holidays started, I went along to a Bookstart Party at fils cadet‘s nursery. There was story reading and an enthusiastic acting out of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and a Bookstart pack at the end of it. I felt it was rather sad that they found it necessary to include 2 DVDs on how to read with your children, but given that it apparently is, I’m all for anything that promotes reading.
Anyway, one of the books in the pack was Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood. It was new to us but is fast becoming a favourite. It tells the story of a curious little owl who stays awake all day to see what the world looks like in the light. She is amazed by all the beautiful colours and says “Wow!” a lot. (Fils cadet likes this and joins in very readily. I could have wished he’d done so a little more quietly during the sermon in my parents’ church on Easter day, but the lady in the pew in front said she’d enjoyed the story too…) In the end though, she decides that the nighttime stars are the loveliest of all.
Tim Hopgood won the Best Emerging Illustrator Award at the Booktrust Early Years Awards in 2008 and the illustrations are a huge part of the appeal of this book. The owl herself is very cute and the simple style really works well in setting a scene while focussing on one colour at a time. The simple repetitive text – with huge joining in potential, as previously mentioned – is well pitched too.
So thank you, Bookstart – a hit!