August’s classic of the month

Owl Babies. Can there be anything cuter? Only if we’re talking owl babies written into being by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson.

This new edition marks the book’s 25th anniversary and it arrives fittingly garlanded in gold foil.

The story is simple and warmly told: owlets Sarah, Percy and Bill awake one night to find their mum gone from the nest. Never has the leafy nocturnal gloom seemed darker as they await her return, perching patiently – yet oh so anxiously – on their branch.

Pitched at toddlers aged 3 and up, it’s the perfect comfort tale for any little person who’s about to start nursery.

Incidentally, Belfast-born Waddell, a recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, has a fascinating life story, including a stint as a professional footballer and close shave with a bomb during the Troubles. Among his many other works for children are the Little Bear books – not to be confused with Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak’s series, about which much more anon.

Owl Babies: 25th Anniversary Edition is published by Walker Books at 6.99. 



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