Thursday, February 23, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Owen

For a period of time, whenever we went to the library, my daughter would beg to borrow any and all mouse-based books by Kevin Henkes. We read Julius; Chrysanthemum; Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse; Sheila Rae, the Brave; Chester's Way; A Weekend with Wendell; and last but not least, Owen.  Even though we read them a zillion times (as preschoolers like to do), I never tired of any of these stories that are so full of character, humor, and universal childhood themes.

Title: Owen
Author/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 1993

Fiction or non-Fiction: Fiction
Audience age: 4 and up
Theme: Treasured possessions/security blankets, common childhood experiences, determination, compromise, problem solving
Opening page: "Owen had a fuzzy yellow blanket. He'd had it since he was a baby. He loved it with all his heart."

Synopsis: From Amazon.com, "Owen had a fuzzy yellow blanket. 'Fuzzy goes where I go,' said Owen. But Mrs. Tweezers disagreed. She thought Owen was too old for a blanket. Owen disagreed. No matter what Mrs. Tweezers came up with, Blanket Fairies or vinegar, Owen had the answer. But when school started, Owen's mother knew just what to do, and everyone -- Owen, Fuzzy, and even Mrs. Tweezers -- was happy."

Resources:
Download a wonderful Kevin Henkes-themed picture book guide which includes discussion questions and activities for many popular Kevin Henkes' books including Kitten's First Full Moon, Chrysanthemum, Owen, and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.  

Why I like this book:
This story applies to many children who are still attached to their "blankies" including my daughter. What I love about this book is the character of Owen. While his actions are a source of humor in the story, his determination and problem-solving skills make him a great role model for preschoolers.  In addition, I love Kevin Henke's unique writing style; I even imitated it in my very first manuscript.


For more Picture Perfect Books please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

19 comments:

  1. My younger daughter and I loved this book!
    -Darshana

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  2. Oh yes! I absolutely love Owen. It is the perfect selection for PPBF's. Kevin Henkes is one of my favorites. Great review!

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    1. Thanks Loni! I went to your site and saw you did the PPF logo -- love it. And love your little parachuting mouse image too. :-)

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    2. Thanks Margaret :) I love drawing little rodents. They are fun!

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  3. This sounds like a very cute book and Owen is a very cute mouse!

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  4. Kevin Henkes has yet to write a book I don't love! We have all his picture books (well, except for the most recent 2 - my kids have outgrown them and my granddaughter's not quite ready :)) And have you ever read Olive's Ocean (MG novel)? SO good! Anyway, I love Owen. It's a perfect choice for our perfect picture book list. Thanks so much for adding it! :)

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    1. I checked Olive's Ocean out from the library, but of course, didn't have time to read it. It's on my To Do list!

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  5. This is a favorite book -- I know it inside out as I studied it. This is a classic! Kevin Henkes writes such beautiful books.

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  6. I definitely aspire to be more like Kevin Henkes in my own writing. Now if I could only draw, I'd be set. Thanks for adding this wonderful book to the PPBF collection!

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  7. He is such a gifted author illustrator. I love too how determined Owen, is because at the beginning you think he may be more timid. I love the solution too. Sweet choice.

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  8. This is one of my favorite books because Owen reminds me of my son with his "bunny." It's such a great ending. <3

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  9. Love, love, love, love, love Owen. And I love Kevin Henkes books, too. After someone introduced me to Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, I had to read all his books. Thanks for adding it to the list.

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  10. I read some of these when I was pregnant, but we haven't checked out any since kiddo made his appearance. The guide looks interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  11. Owen was the first Henkes book I encountered, and it made me fall in love with Henkes writing. Love this book! Great choice for PPBF.

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  12. Kevin Henkes is so very talented! This book was never too popular at our house. The first time I read it to Ben when he was small, he became so incredibly offended by the busybody neighbor we've not dared to read it again.

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  13. Great classic book. Used this in a course for writing. Excellent choice.

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  14. My children also had their "blankies"...what a wonderful story about a topic near and dear to most children's hearts. :) Thanks so much for reviewing this book and providing the resource links.

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  15. I don't know if I could choose just one Henkes book for PPBF...I love them all! I think perhaps "Wemberly" would tie with "Owen," but then there's "Lilly" and "Sheila Rae" too. Great review!

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  16. So endearing. Kevin Henkes is a master. Thanks for sharing! I'm happy to be "here" in the PPBF crowd!

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