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The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark (Young Puffin Books) [Paperback]

Jill Tomlinson , Joanne Cole
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; New edition edition (29 Nov 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014030634X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140306347
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.4 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jill Tomlinson never intended to be a writer. She trained as an opera singer, and then decided to have a family whilst her voice matured. But illness intervened, and she had to find another outlet for her energies. She started on a journalism course, and by the third lesson decided she wanted to write for children. So she did!

It did not come easily. Her first story, The Bus who went to Church, was rejected by sixteen publishers before it was accepted for a picture book. Several other picture books followed until she felt a need to stretch herself further. She wrote five short stories about a hen wanting to visit an aunt and her chicks, and Methuen thought that if she wrote another five stories on the same theme the book would fit well into their new 'Read Aloud' series. After many fierce arguments between Jill and her editor (recounted with relish and indignation to her bewildered family) the book we now know as The Hen Who Wouldn't Give Up, came out, soon to be followed by The Cat Who Wanted to Go Home.

The next manuscript was produced in increasing physical difficulties, and had just been accepted when the cause of the difficulties was identified - multiple sclerosis. The book was The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark. Thereafter every book was a battle. Writing became impossible. All her research - and each book about a young animal was meticulously researched - was done by the family in response to her persistent and often unanswerable questions. Not that you could guess all this from the finished product, where her sympathy and sense of humour overrides everything. Jill used to claim that she was unique in being an author who could neither read or write.

So long as she could speak clearly, Jill loved to read her stories to the children of friends and often, in her wheelchair, to classes in local schools. Her 'eek' when reading the Owl was something to be remembered! She said that stories about young animals could go straight to the emotional needs of young children, bypassing all barriers of class or colour.

Jill died, suddenly and unexpectedly, in hospital where she had gone for respite care whilst her husband was away from home. She was 45. But anyone who has read her books knows what she was like - bubbly and caring and irrepressible.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Live Plop! 21 Nov 2007
This was my favourite book when I was five and still read it with relish now at 25. Even though the new illustrated version of Plop is lovely, and perhaps more appealing to visual-orientated children, I adore this paperback version with the black and white drawings. Plop with his little bobbles and heart-shaped ruff, the sock for Father Christmas and the old lady reminiscing! These pictures really gave the book its character for me and I had to buy a copy for my now two-year-old to enjoy.

I would let him have mine but I need it!

Classic book, buy it for nostalgia and enjoy Plop's coming of age tale in its original style!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars happy memories 19 Oct 2009
i had this story when i was a child. i had it on audio cassette! i played it all the time. i'm pretty sure if i found it now (i know i have it somewhere) that i would still enjoy it. ahh the happy memories and fun times i spent in Plop's world. Oh to be a child again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The unabridged edition is best 18 Mar 2014
I remember getting this title for my very young cousin she was only 5 at the time, and she was not too keen on sleeping in the dark and always needed a night light. Well she loved the stories and I believe she still has the book today. The stories were very good and were enhanced with the rather nicely done drawings. Rather like other reviewers this old edition really is the best, as it is unabridged. This is a very good book and I believe it delivers - good for children from 4-6 years old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plop is adorable 14 July 2012
A much loved tale of my own children and the school children I taught. I still remember all the different experiences Plop the baby barn owl has to make him not scared of the dark. Happy memories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood memories! 27 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this book! I had it when I was younger and it is lovely! I bought it as my daughter is has started being afraid of the dark, hoping it would make her see there's nothing to be scared of. Not worked yet, but we love the story!

Condition of the book is not good at all but that doesn't alter the amazing story!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A* 18 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Daddy loved this book as a child, so looked for our 9year old to get her back into reading, second price and great condition
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5.0 out of 5 stars This owl is a hoot - or rather, a screech! 2 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is my all time favourite children's story for under 8's, or even under 10's, and I never get tired of reading it to my grand-children, having brought their parents up to love it too. The original copy is tattered and much loved in New Zealand now!
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