Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it’s written and illustrated by kids, a cute book, and I really like books with the topic of owls.
The Perfect Place for an Elf Owl
Written and Illustrated by the First and Second Grade Multiage Class of Anthony T. Lane Elementary School in Alexandria, VA
Published in 2011 by Scholastic Inc.
31 pages – ages 4+
Theme/Topic – Owls / Being lost
Opening and Synopsis – “One windy night in the desert, mama elf owl went out in search of dinner for her babies.”
When mama elf owl went to search for food for her babies, the youngest owl missed her and tried to find her. The wind takes the little owl to a lot of different places and he meets a lot of different kinds of owls. He asks all the owls he meets the same question – “Is this my home?” But they all say “No.” Then the wind takes him to the desert, and he asked the owl that he meets the same question, “Is this my home?” When the owl says “Yes,” the owlet realizes that it was his Mama that he was asking, and that he made it home safe.
Why I liked this book – I really, really like this book! I think this is a wonderfully told story! The artwork is really cool! It is cut paper, feathers, markers, crayons, and paint all combined in an awesome way! Take a look at some of the artwork!
I think it’s awesome that this was written and illustrated by first and second graders! There are pictures of the kids working on and researching for the book in the back of the book and a group photo of the kids and teachers on the back cover. There are also fact boxes included on the pages. They tell about all the owls that the little owlet meets on his trip and the places (the different owl habitats) he goes!
This book was made for the “Kids Are Authors” competition sponsored by Scholastic every year. It just so happens that this marvelous book won for the best nonfiction book in 2011! I actually never heard of this program before finding this book. It sounds like a great opportunity for schools. Here is Scholastic’s summary of the competition:
“Under the guidance of a project coordinator, children work in teams of three or more students to write and illustrate their own book. The creative process of working in teams helps provide a natural environment to practice editing, teamwork, and the communication skills necessary for future success. All students involved get a sense of pride and accomplishment from submitting the team project.”
Activities and Resources –
You can make your own owls using the same materials as the students did – It looks fun! Maybe you can make your own story up about an owl or other animal!
I found an Elf Owl fact sheet at the Desert Museum’s website. Visit it HERE .
I also found Lane Elementary’s website and they announced the kids won. You can visit the site HERE .
You can visit Scholastic and see information about the Kids Are Authors competition HERE.
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!