Owl Moon by Jane Yolen


Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon. Philomel Books, 1987.  $16.99, 32 pages.

Link to Author’s Website: http://janeyolen.com/

Links to Interviews with Author:

Links to Reviews Available Online:

Reader’s Annotation: Father and daughter spend precious time together searching for a great horned owl.


One bright moonlit night, a girl and her father set out in the snow to go owling.  Her father shows her how to call for Great Horned Owls.  The little girls is very philosophical about the whole experience.  Accepting that there may or may not be owls when they go.  Headed for the woods and a clearing in the woods, they call again for the owls.  Finally, their call is answered, and an owl flies to the clearing and perches on a branch. Satisfied, the girl and her father walk silently home.


Owl Moon is a lovely story of a father and daughter spending time bonding in nature.  The narrative style is simple and straightforward.  There is some use of figurative language and imagery.  However, there is not much text and not much dialogue.  This adds to the overall quiet of the book, mimicking the quiet needed to see the great horned owls.  The beauty of the winter and the beauty of nature are conveyed in the beautiful illustrations that accompany the text.  Both the daughter and the father are believable characters.  The daughter’s obvious joy to be included in this outing which maybe she had been too young to accompany her father before.  The plot is quite viable, and would probably make readers want to experience the amazing owling outing themselves.

Rating Scale:

  • Popularity: 3
  • Quality: 3

Genre and Subgenre: realistic fiction

Appeal Factors: nature, family, father daughter relationship, owls, illustrations

Readalike Titles or Authors:

  • Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
  • Peek! A Thai Hide and Seek by Mingfong Ho
  • Dad and Me in the Morning by Patricia Lakin

Awards Won and Book Lists:

  • Caldecott Medal

Booktalking Ideas:

  • The daughter’s excitement to go out
  • The description of the quiet woods
  • Calling for the owls

Book Discussion Questions or Ideas:

  • What makes this trip with her father so special to the little girl?
  • What are some activities that fathers do with their children to indicate different stages in their lives?

Why I Chose This:

I chose this title because it was the story of a father and a daughter.  I loved the quiet atmosphere of the book and how nature is valued by father, daughter, and author.