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Summary: While playing baseball in their backyard, Maddie and her brother Max discover a baby owl. The Great Horned owlet had fallen out of his nest. They watched as their mom, a wildlife rehabilitator. They helped their mom create a secondary nest and watched first as the firemen placed the nest in the tree, and then as the mother owl returned to care for her baby. This picture book offers a story about animal rescue and reminds kids that these are wild animals, not pets.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, learning to read, transitional reader, read aloud book, remedial reader, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 5 to 9
Reading Level: 3.6
Age of Child: Read by a nearly 8-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: My daughter yanked this off the counter before I had a chance to take it to my office. She spent some time exploring the pages and then asked to read it at bedtime. There were plenty of "ooh's" for the adorable owlet and some great concern that mother owl would come back. She wanted to know if the baby owl ever learned to fly.
Adult Reader Reaction: Arbordale has another great hit on its hand. This is a wonderful story, but also a perfect, much-needed contribution to nature reading for kids. Given the number of dwindling wildlife habitats, kids need to learn safety habits for wild animals, just as they do domesticated ones.
Pros: Beautiful illustrations, an adorable owlet, and step-by-step explanation introduce kids to owls and the proper way to help wildlife.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is an exceptional nonfiction picture book and it has information about rescuing birds that all kids need to have.
Educational Themes: The main theme in the story is the rescue of the owlet. That is complemented with more detailed information about an owl's life cycle, facts about the Great Horned Owl, and owl attributes in the back. As always, Sylvan Dell makes it easy to engage learners, as they take an interactive approach (games) to help kids learn this information.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 3.6 The Reading Tub, Inc. requested a publisher donation for this title.
Literary Categories: Fiction - nature, animal characters, picture book