Thursday, January 26, 2017

Owl Sees Owl

Our John with Rob.  We wouldn't have met Rob if it weren't for John!

You've heard me say this about a lot of books--when we fall for a book at Castleton Elementary School, we fall hard.  We hug the book.  We squeeze it.  We can't let go of it. We can't stop expressing our love that our fingers just automatically run over to a pencil and paper to send the author or illustrator a note.  One of our latest cases is Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin and illustrated by Rob Dunlavey.  In this case, I found Rob's email and told him how much we gushed over his artwork and how we thought it was a strong contender for the Geisel and Caldecott awards.

John was a driving force in loving this book before the rest of us.  Of course, it was on my Geisel list but he read it with Mom one night after checking it out on Overdrive back in November and it has been "his" book ever since.

The text in this book is simple and poetic which is why we thought it was a perfect Geisel contender. Little Owl takes a leap out of the nest and explores the world and his surroundings until he comes to his reflection. "Owl sees owl."  The text is then reversed until he reaches his home and family once again.  Then there is Rob's artwork.  Gorgeous and breathtaking.  We're not the only ones who think so--a page from the book was on display in the Original Art exhibit I went to last month at the Society of Illustrators.

Chatting with Rob was fun.  The kids asked when he became an artist.  He's always thought of himself as an artist but it wasn't until he was in college that he realized "no one else in the whole world was going to make the pictures I wanted to see so that's when I decided to be an artist."

Rob encouraged the students to doodle.  Mrs. Pryde reminded them "just not on your math work." He shared that when he was teaching a class one of the things he told his students was "if you are not doodling, then you probably shouldn't be in my class."  I want to take that class!

If you have not already picked up a copy of Owl Sees Owl, do it soon.  Every time you read it, you will notice something different on the pages and see a beautiful, wonderful world.

Asking a question on "Crazy Hair Day"!

Kathi Appelt was one of our Newbery authors.  It's cool when everyone is interconnected!

Everyday Rob goes out and doodles.  This is a doodle!

We begin and end with John, our star of the day!

"Pictures can help tell people how wonderful life is."
-Rob Dunlavey


  1. Thank you for capturing everything so well and warmly too. The students are all stars and special THANKS to John who had the chance to shine for everyone to appreciate. I had a wonderful experience. And thanks to Castelton staff and parents for fostering such a rich learning experience.

  2. I was so hoping this would win the Geisel too, or at least get an honor. Such a poetic and elegant book, with art complementing the text perfectly!