Every other week, Everyday Wild will post a review of a book related to wilderness adventure, outdoor life or exploring the wild with children. Reviews will highlight books for both kids and adults, and will focus on finding and sharing those books that are particularly useful or inspirational to families looking to be more connected with the wild.
“If you go owling you have to be quiet and make your own heat.”
I decided to begin this series of book reviews with one of my favorite classic books for children: Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen. Those of you who read my first post about watching a porcupine with my father will understand why this book resonates so strongly with me.
Jane Yolen spins a carefully crafted tale of a family rite-of-passage. The narrator , a small girl, is finally old enough to go out owling with her father. “Long past her bedtime,” she bundles up into winter clothing that hides all but her eyes, and follows her father through the deep snow and out into the woods. She understands the ephemeral nature of wild animals from the stories of her older siblings, “My brothers say sometimes there’s an owl and sometimes there isn’t”. It’s a beautiful story told in the softly lyrical language that Jane Yolen is known for.
When I finish reading this story, I am left with a yearning desire to go into the woods in search of owls; I imagine most children will be too, and this makes it a perfect tie-in for a nightime walking adventure, particularly in winter. Grab a flashlight and some snowshoes, and tramp along a winter path. Be careful to take the time to be still, and perhaps you will be lucky enough to hear an owl calling to you from deep in the woods.