Owl Sees Owl

Reverse poem.

Poem reverse.

Owl Sees Owl, a beautiful picture book written by Laura Godwin and illustrated by Rob Dunlavey. I’d like to just give a little shout out and applause that the cover reads, “Laura Godwin & Rob Dunlavey”. Because this is a picture book perfection where the illustrations move and carry the very sparse words and really, visually, tell the story.

The first spread is “Home Mama Brother Sister”.

We see a curious little owl about to embark on a nighttime adventure.

“Tree Nest Hop Look” and off he goes.

Soaring and gliding us through the atmospheric landscape. Rob Dunlavey does a brilliant job of alternating closeups with pulled back vignettes giving us a real sense of motion.

“Jump Flutter Flap Fly”…

…until gazing into a pool of water, “Owl Sees Owl”.

And now the poem reverses to take the little owl back to his, “Sister Brother Mama Home.”

Not only does the poem reverse, but Dunlavey reverses the little owl’s movement on the page as well. At the beginning, the owl’s motion all moves left to right, creating an natural page turn and forward motion. But when owl is returning home, all his motion is directed from right to left.

The words are fun to say and read out loud. It’s a clever concept and the text and illustrations work seamlessly with each other.

A lulling, lilting, lovely book.

Rob Dunlavey took the time to leave a comment below. I thought I would paste it here, so readers can see what he said about illustrating Owl Sees Owl.

“Thanks for a lovely, sensitive and positive review! I illustrated “Owl Sees Owl”. It was intriguing and fun working with Laura Godwin’s text. Fortunately, the fabulous and sturdy art direction and editorial guidance of Rachael Cole and Lee Wade kept the illustrations true to the text and world that Laura created.”

Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Thank you!

34 Comments:

  1. This looks soothing and lovely, Jennifer. Just right for bedtime. I’m feeling a little sleepy myself just looking at the illustrations . . .

  2. Looking forward to reading this one. Sounds beautiful and clever!

  3. So this is what editors and agents mean when they say they want something fresh, something they’ve never seen before. This concept sounds completely brilliant. I’m requesting it from my library NOW! 🙂 Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Jennifer–I loved this book so much, both the text and the illustrations. I was really hoping for it to win the Geisel. One of my goals this year is to make an attempt at a reverso poem. Marilyn Singer is the creator of it, and the master. If you haven’t yet read her poetry books, Mirror Mirror, Follow Follow & Echo Echo, you will be amazed!

    • Thank you so much, Maria! In my arms at the library I also had Echo and Echo. I was going to mention both in this post, but… um… time? But I was fascinated by it and I think kids would really enjoy ‘puzzling’ their own poems in this way. I’m glad that you liked the book so much, too, and appreciate you visiting and chatting!

  5. Lovely! Checking this out from the library today. Thank you Jennifer.

  6. This book looks awesome! Thanks for bringing attention to it!

  7. You’re very welcome, Kris! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Thanks for letting us know about this book. It’s beautiful in both words and illustrations.

  9. Isn’t this a gorgeous book? Wow!

  10. Beautiful! Need to get this one for my young grandkids. Thanks,

  11. Wow! Looks beautiful! I can’t wait to read it.

  12. This sounds wonderful, and our library has it! Thank you for sharing.

  13. Thanks for a lovely, sensitive and positive review! I illustrated “Owl Sees Owl”. It was intriguing and fun working with Laura Godwin’s text. Fortunately, the fabulous and sturdy art direction and editorial guidance of Rachael Cole and Lee Wade kept the illustrations true to the text and world that Laura created.

  14. A beautifully illustrated unique idea. Love the little Owl already and plan to read.

  15. I definitely recommend this beautiful little book. It ranked among my favorites of 2016, inspiring me to try writing reverso poems of my own.

  16. What a challenge to write! And ohh, these illustrations make me want to snuggle up with this one. 🙂

  17. Beautiful! I also love that the cover simple reads “Laura Godwin & Rob Dunlavey”. Thanks so much for sharing this sweet book with us, Jennifer!

  18. I might not have found this one on my own, so thanks. Looks beautiful, and I’m curious about the text structure.

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