Book Review

PoP: Brave Little Owl by Penny Little & Sean Julian and What’s in the Egg, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman

PoP Tuesdays on Juniper’s Jungle bring two reviews of picture books.

Brave Little Owl by Penny Little & Sean Julian (illustrator). Red Fox.
BraveLittleOwlLittle Owl would love to learn to fly in time for her grandma’s birthday. But flying is scary, especially when your brothers won’t stop teasing you.

Will anyone be able to help Little Owl face her fears?

This book is really very cute. It tells the story of Little Owl, she’s scared to learn to fly but desperate to conquer her fears. I think anyone reading the book will find themselves rooting for her, particularly when her very first efforts end in disappointment. Her mildly bratty older brothers also help the reader to side with Little Owl! I liked the way Grandpa Owl was firmly on everyone’s side, wanting his grandbabies to succeed in flying, but also stood up for Little Owl when her brothers were mean – his message that not everyone is good at everything is such a valuable one for all children to hear.

The illustrations are very attractive, they’re richly coloured without ever feeling loud. The story takes place as night is falling, the colours used reflect this with the sky becoming darker over the course of the book. Towards the end of the book there is a single fold out page, this works brilliantly well with the story telling making a real moment out of something that deserves such recognition.

A really lovely picture book that I’d certainly be looking at adding to my collection.

What’s in the Egg, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman (illustrator). Simon and Schuster.
WhatsInTheEggLittle Pip liked in when her family was just three. But now the egg seems to be all Mummy and Daddy can think about, and little Pip can’t understand why… until the egg finally cracks open.

I love penguins, so I was drawn to this book with its beautiful cover. The story is about a young penguin who doesn’t understand why her parents are obsessed with the new Egg they have – they’re so focused on keeping it warm and safe, they don’t have time to play with her or to even think about anything that isn’t the Egg. Slowly but surely she becomes more involved with the Egg, her instincts take over but she still thinks the Egg is unnecessary. The ending is as expected, but it’s very lovely and heart warming.

I liked the illustrations in this book, though I was interested by the fact that Pip is a dark inky blue colour rather than the black like all of the other penguins in the book. I wonder if this is to keep the focus on her, and also to help distinguish her from the other penguins – the style is very natural rather than cartoony so the penguins look like actual penguins.

This book will of course make a really good book to share with a child that has a sibling on the way though its length probably means it would be best suited to slightly older children, maybe 4+ as there’s a lot of story to sit through. This is the third book that features Little Pip, I’d certainly like to read the other two.

Both books featured in this post were borrowed from my local library.

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One thought on “PoP: Brave Little Owl by Penny Little & Sean Julian and What’s in the Egg, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman

  1. Hi Jenni,
    Thanks for the review. Pip Penguin (and Bear Snores On) are hardly seen in UK, whereas they do well in America! I think the markets are slightly different.
    Please keep a look out for the other two Pip books, I was very pleased with the underwater scenes when Pip learns to swim…
    You’re right to assume that Pip is blue to distinguish her from the other penguins. It’s a classic illustrator trick! I’ve just illustrated another book about penguins where the protagonists are blue, purple and grey.
    I really appreciate the mention.
    Jane Chapman

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