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Owl Babies [Paperback]

Martin Waddell , Patrick Benson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
RRP: £5.99
Price: £4.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

8 Sep 1994
Three baby owls, Sarah, Percy and Bill, wake up one night in their hole in a tree to find that their mother has gone. So they sit on a branch and wait. Darkness gathers and the owls grow anxious, wondering when their mother will return. But, at last, she does, and they bounce up and down with joy, welcoming her home. Martin Waddell has won The Smarties Book Prize for "Can't You Sleep Little Bear?" in 1988. "Farmer Duck" was shortlisted for the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award in 1991, as was "The Hidden House" in 1990, having won the award in 1989 for "A Park in the Dark". "Rosies Babies" won the Best Book for Babies Award in 1990, and was also shortlisted for the 1991 Kate Greenaway Medal. Other titles include "The Tough Princess", "Let's Go Home", "Little Bear", "Amy Said", "Once There Were Giants", "We Love Them", "The Happy Hedgehog Band", "Squeak-A-Lot", "The Toymaker", "The Pig in the Pond" and "Sailor Bear".

Frequently Bought Together

Owl Babies + Farmer Duck + Handa's Surprise (Walker Paperbacks)
Price For All Three: £14.82

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Product details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd; New edition edition (8 Sep 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0744531675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0744531671
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Martin Waddell is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest living writers of books for children. He has won many awards for his work, including the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2004.

Product Description

Amazon Review

A charming, reassuring book for any child who has ever worried about Mummy leaving them alone, Owl Babies is a beautifully illustrated and exquisitely executed picture book to warm the cockles of the heart.

As three adorable Owl chicks sit on a branch in the woods their fears and concerns become very real as they worry that their mum may not return. The striking, dark yet somehow comforting illustrations cleverly enhance their mood as they sit, waiting and thinking, until finally all is well again. Enchanting, divinely different and ultimately reassuring, Owl Babies is a dream of a book. (Ages 2 to 5) --Susan Harrison

A Big Book edition is also available.


"Touchingly beautiful... Drawn with exquisite delicacy...The perfect picture book." The Guardian" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful... 13 Mar 2008
'Owl Babies' tells the simple but wonderfully-illustrated tale of three little owls who wake to find their mother missing. During their eager wait for her return, they consider where she might be...except for Fred, the tiniest of the three, who is so upset he just keeps saying 'I want my mummy!'.

Though necessarily simple given the age of its target audience, this would be an immensely reassuring story to read to any child having to spend a little time away from his or her parents, or perhaps one who dislikes sleeping in a room alone. The element of repetition in little Fred's dialogue lends itself to 'playing along' and the illustrations really are outstanding.

I came across this beautiful book whilst waiting in a doctor's office, and I'm so glad I did - I'll certainly be buying a copy for my own child when s/he is born.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Owl Babies by Martin Waddell 18 Jun 2002
By L.Wall
This story is about three owls and they wake up one night and their Mum went hunting for their food. They thought their Mum was gone so they went outside and waited on a branch. They were upset.
I liked this story because some parts were funny like when they jumped up and down on the branch when their Mum came back.
I would recommend this story to people who are under five years old because they would like the pictures because some of the pictures are funny.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly successful! 20 Nov 2008
When my son turned 2 our health visitor came to do the usual check up and gave him his Bookstart pack which included the delightfully colourful "cock-a-moo-moo" and the rather bland and dull looking Owl Babies. cock a moo moo was read again and again and I just assumed the "dull" illustrations and not so "loud" and rather "bounce-less" narrative of Owl Babies would not captivate him so it found its way to the bottom of the toy box until my son pulled it out one day and asked to have it read to him, after which we were both hooked! Now he is three and his little 1 year old sister also loves the book, its taught them that when mummy leaves its no big deal, and sometimes you may well b on your own, but at those times you look after each other (rather than pinching the other's toy the moment mummy walks out the room!). I was surprised at both my kids loving the book despite what I had written off as too scary a story (is mummy gone for too long?), too boring the narrative and too dull the illustrations.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of themes, longlasting favourite! 9 May 2001
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell is a lovely book for very young children. The story is about three baby owls, Sarah, Percy and Bill, who wake up in the middle of the night and find their mother is gone.
The book has a lovely rhythm to it, although it is not written in poetry form. It's more like a song, with a few gentle rhythmical lines, then one which cuts the rhythm and draws the child's attention, which is excellent for young heads and short attention spans. There are also a few rhymes thrown in which get caught up in the rhythm, and one particular rhyming couplet which is repeated throughout:
"The little owls thought -All owls think a lot"
Which is something for children to hang onto throughout the story. They can also learn to anticipate the second line and eventually join in.
The characters in the book are good too. As the Mother Owl is the only "grown-up" she can be replaced with "Granny Owl" or "Daddy Owl" as appropriate for your child and their main carer, or whoever they might identify this character with. The book is an excellent starting point for discussion with little ones, especially if they are worried about being left somewhere new, like school, nursery, or even at home with a baby-sitter when Mum goes out.
The three owls themselves each have different characters, and adults can easily change the names to match those of the young listeners. In the book, Sarah is the one who seems to look after the other two, so she is probably the older sister (or brother, if you call her Sam, like we do!).
Percy is a little bit younger, and looks up to Sarah for reassurance. I always read Percy with a high squeaky voice which goes down well with the bairns.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I bought this book after using it whilst on work experience in a nursery school. The children loved it, and it was invaluable for comforting a small boy on his first day who was worried that his mum wouldn't come back to get him. The illustrations are beautiful and highly original.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book 17 Dec 2008
By marbles
Format:Board book
I bought this book for my baby when she was tiny. She is nearly one now, and flaps and bounces at the appropriate point.

The story manages to combine simplicity, with real charactarisation and emotions in a way that none of the other stories I read to my daughter do. The pictures are beautifully drawn, they look like real owls, but still manage to convey the emotion of the story.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This story scares my little boy 1 Mar 2011
First let me start off by saying that I think this is a really lovely story - really it is. But it's hardly about what I think, it's about what my 3 year old son thinks ...

Maybe he's just a sensitive little soul, but he seemed genuinely upset that the 3 little owls are alone in the dark forest without their mummy for most of the book, wondering where she is & whether or not she is coming back. I've stopped reading the book to him, because he is now always asking me if my husband or I am also going to leave him like the owl mummy left her babies :o(
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