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The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark (Jill Tomlinson's Favourite Animal Tales) Paperback – 4 Mar 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont; New Ed edition (4 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405210931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405210935
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,319 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.

Product Description

Review

"'The dark is scary, ' Plop tells Mommy Barn Owl, who wisely instructs him to learn a bit more about it before passing judgment....As for the round, plump, and utterly fetching owl himself, he's an irresistible ball of fluff who may well convert a host of readers to nighttime's appeal." --"Publishers Weekly"

About the Author

Jill Tomlinson 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! Jill Tomlinson’s animal stories are much-loved and have been best-selling children’s books for nearly four decades.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Oliver on 24 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has beautiful illustrations and my son loves it. The story is a good one for children who are a bit worried about the dark. However I bought this thinking it would be the same as the one I read as a child, but with nicer illustrations. Unfortunately the story itself seems to have lost some of the more humourous aspects that I remember, like Plop the owl resembling a Catherine wheel when he tumbled out of a tree and his incessant "what's next" at feeding time...gone. I'm thinking about buying the old copy to read (mine is worn out) and showing the pictures from the new book to my son.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By readerofbooks on 23 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark is a wonderful book - in its original form. It makes a wonderful transition between picture books and chapter books: lots going on, not scary, plenty of reasons to keep going.

But this - well, first of all the recording is Bill Oddie not the wonderful Maureen Lipman (Not the same thing at all)

And second, it's abridged into a 16 page picture book format, and many of those pages are pictures, not words. A whole chapter is condensed into a single page. Which is a particular problem with this book, because frankly the story is a bit weedy (baby owl scared of dark; finds out more; decides he likes it), and what makes it is the way in which it's told.

DON'T BUY THE BUNDLED VERSION!!! Buy the original unabridged book and the CD and then you won't be disappointed.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Chrestomanci VINE VOICE on 29 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
If you know a little someone who is afraid of the dark, then this book will cure them in one week ... guaranteed!
The story is about a young barn owl called Plop, who has the same problem. The plot is divided into seven little chapters (read one per night until cured). Each one is a satisfying tale in which Plop learns something new about the dark each night: dark is exciting, dark is kind, dark is fun, dark is necessary, dark is fascinating, dark is wonderful ... and dark is beautiful. Plop isn't convinced immediately, but by the seventh night he's looking at the dark through new eyes!
This is without doubt the most perfect bedtime story book ever written. It has been loved by children for generations - and will doubtless continue to be a firm favourite!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Ludlow on 29 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had listened to Maureen Lippman reading this book and had given the tape to my grandchildren because I thought it was so wonderful. When I saw the book available, I thought I would buy several copies to give to friends. Fortunately I only bought the one. It is not the whole story - chunks have been omitted, most of the story is not there. So very disappointing and I still have my copy, it isn't, as far as I am concerned, worth giving to anybody. I believe a good story is a good story and that it should stand on its own merit. I never read condensed books; if a story is worth reading, it is all worth reading. Sadly, this one, foreshortened as it is, is not worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Petty on 17 Feb 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book as a child and was so pleased to see it on here that I bought it as a gift for my friend's daughter. It turns out she has had it read to her at school but I have a feeling it will now become a family favourite too.

It's a really lovely story about a baby owl who is scared of the dark but through meeting various people learns to overcome his fears. I think my favourite thing about this book as a child though was the fact that the owl is called Plop! Lovely to read aloud at bedtime and a lovely book for early readers to gain confidence with.

Having read a couple of other reviews on here, I'd definitely recommend checking you have the original 'unabridged' version, especially if you've read it yourself as a child as I would certainly have missed some of my favourite bits.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Vicky Wilkinson on 12 Nov 2006
Format: Paperback
Recently, a very close friend of mine who went to school with me reminded me of this book. Our year two teacher had read it to us when we were younger. It must have been my favourite book of the time.

It is about a little owl who is too afraid to venture out of his nest at night. Along his epic journey to get over his fear, he meets all kinds of children who help him.

It is a wonderful book. If you have small children or younger brothers or sisters, do consider getting this for them. Its a lovely story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. L. Pereira on 7 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a story about an owl that was afraid of the dark. He is called Plop. Plop is a barn owl, who is ALWAYS hungry! Plop is terrified of the dark. Which is weird as owls are night birds and not normally afraid of the dark. Plop has an adventure every day, he meets lots of new people who describe to Plop what the dark is about.

It is a funny story especially the part where he kept on asking for food, eating it and then asking what he'd eaten, and what was next. HAHAHA!
We thought it was an interesting book and particularly funny when Plop kept falling out of the tree. Or when he thought the young lady was Father Christmas.

Ash class thought that this story was an interesting, funny, fantastic, exciting, delightful, wonderful, superb, great, fascinating, amazing, spectaular adventure.

We recommend this book to everyone. It's a HOOT!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Slingsby on 19 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is charming. It is about an owl 'Plop' who is afraid of the dark and so is encouraged by his parents to find out about it. By the end of the book Plop has listened to everyone's views and made his own mind up.
My daughter and I love this book!
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