Owl Babies offers the perfect opportunity to explore feelings, anxieties and worries. It is a story charged with emotion and looking at the reactions of the Owl Babies is a good route to discussing a child’s own feelings. In Early Years we read this book with many different feelings and completed many activities to fulfill the skills required in our early learning goals.

“I want my mommy!” Three baby owls’ awake one night to find their mother gone, and they can’t help but wonder where she is. What is she doing? When will she be back? What scary things move all around them? Stunning illustrations from striking perspectives capture the anxious little owls as they worry. Not surprisingly, joyous flapping and dancing and bouncing greet the mother’s return, lending a celebratory tone to the ending of this comforting tale. Never has the plight of young ones who miss their mother been so simply told or so beautifully rendered.

Owl Babies offers a safe and secure opportunity to explore separation anxiety and the worries that children naturally experience. The story allows children to look at the situation of a parent going away through the eyes of Sarah, Percy and Bill and explore their own feelings. It also reinforces the idea that the situation will be resolved, if a parent goes away they will come back. If Mummy leaves you at nursery or with a childminder she will come and pick you up.

The Owl Babies are alone for a short time and they handle the situation well, but that time is also full of fear and tension. It is good for children to be able to experience feelings through stories and explore how the characters handle the scenario and it can help them make sense of similar situations in their own lives. Stories like Owl Babies help to develop a child’s emotional intelligence and learn how to deal with anxiety and for that reason I believe it is a very important book. We have read the story many times and it is interesting to see the change in response to the story over time. On our first reading there was definite concern that the Owl Mother had gone but we were happy when it was clear that everything would be fine in the end. Having read the story several times together the children will now add their own reassurances and try to persuade the little owls that it will all be alright, taking the oldest owl, Sarah’s, role a little further.

Little Bill gets the final words in the story, “I love my mummy” which always result in a lovely and reassuring hug.