The board book Owl Howl by Paul Friester and Philippe Goossens has been translated from the German and into English by Erica Stenfalt—and thank goodness! English-speaking and -learning children will enjoy this absolutely adorably illustrated book.
An owl sits crying miserably all alone, and one by one the woodland creatures approach her and try to figure out what’s going on. And just like adults, the individual creatures offer various suggestions. At first, some are sympathetic, trying to offer food or playtime, then comes the annoyed mole who promises her something pretty if she will just stop crying, and finally the irritable stag beetle who threatens punishment with a pinch on the bottom if she doesn’t stop. This sounds like so many parents who have reached their threshold of understanding and patience. Of course, the stag beetle feels bad, as many adults do, for the threat and tries to make amends by trying to comfort her through rocking.
When the little owl reunites with her mother and is asked what is wrong, the owl stops crying and admits she has forgotten. This ending has been explored in What’s Wrong, Little Pookie? by Sandra Boynton in 2007, so it’s cute enough to try again here.
Owl Howl is perfect for parents and children alike, the woodland creatures each representative of the various stages of patience and understanding in caring for an inconsolable child. The lovely illustrations look like oil on board and are rich and deep in their colors.