Winter Reading Fun: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

This classic picture book won the Caldecott Medal for excellence in illustration – and the illustrations are luminous as father and child venture out into a snow-laden moonlit night to see if they can spot an owl.

This book is available in the library collection, but if you can’t wait, an Internet search for “Owl Moon” will bring up some readings on You Tube.

Extend the story by visiting and looking up owls – there are wonderful owl photos at this link on their site:
You can make a great horned owl with cutout shapes, glue, and paint, and finally don’t miss the opportunity to take a late night walk in your neighborhood to see if you can spot owls or other wildlife.

Great Horned Owl Craft
Make your own owl to decorate a door or your wall!

What you need:
brown paper bag
cosmetic sponge or paper towel

What you do:

  1. Draw an oval about 8″ long on the brown paper bag and cut it out. TIP: If you leave the bag “as is” when you cut and don’t open it up, then you will have two ovals and that’s exactly what you need.
  2. Cut one of the ovals in half – these will become the wings.
  3. Draw a 5″ circle on the bag and cut it out. TIP: See the tip in step 1, above – you will have two circles.
  4. Fold one of the circles in half and draw a smaller oval – about the size of a real egg. When you cut it out, you will have two egg shapes – these will become the sides of the face where the eyes will go.
  5. Cut a curved line into each side of the other circle – this will become the owl’s face.
  6. Cut two smaller ovals, about 2″ each, to become the owl’s ears.
  7. Spread the pieces out on a table and apply black, brown, or gray paint with the cosmetic sponge, dabbing it on to give it a look of feathers.
  8. When the pieces are dry, glue them together to form the owl.
  9. Use white paint and a cosmetic sponge to add the details around the face and neck.
  10. Cut one black or yellow diamond shape for the beak and two yellow circles for the eyes. TIP: If you don’t have the right color paper, use white paper and color it with crayons or markers.
  11. Add the pupil to each eye with a black marker. TIP: Owls have very large pupils to help them see at night.
  12. Cut two heart shapes to match the beak and paste them to the bottom of the owl to be its feet. TIP: The top of the heart should show – fold them up after gluing the point of the heart onto the back of the owl.

Hang your Great Horned Owl near a window in your home. Check out the photos of owls in the Audubon link above and see if you can design other paper owls.

Parents: There are kits with pre-cut pieces available this month at the Children’s Desk in the Main Library. The kit is ideal for preschoolers, although older children may prefer to follow the directions given here.

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