By Tatyana Feeney
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 32 pages
Little children can be so fussy about clothes. Some don’t like zippers or buttons. Others can’t stand Velcro. And when the weather turns chilly, sweaters and hats can be so itchy! But it’s not only kids who have these problems…animals do too! In her book Little Owl’s Orange Scarf, Tatyana Feeney captures the pure frustration one tiny bird feels towards a handmade scarf.
Little Owl is usually an agreeable and positive guy. He loves to add numbers, eat ice cream and get surprises. But when Mommy surprises him with a new scarf she knitted for him, he hates it! It is itchy, way too long for such a tiny owl and much too orange. Parents and children will love everything Little Owl does to try to lose his scarf. When he packs it up and addresses it to Peru, Mommy finds it. What will Little Owl do when he goes on a class visit to the zoo? He’ll lose his scarf there! When he comes home and doesn’t have it, Mommy has a great idea! They will make another scarf for Little Owl together and this time he can pick the yarn. No spoilers here! Readers and parents will be surprised to find out what color Little Owl picks and whether or not the orange scarf finds a new home (or neck) at the zoo!
Feeney’s illustrations are wonderful. It is evident why she got a BA in children’s book illustration. Her simple black, orange and blue drawings of Owl riding his scooter, trying on his itchy scarf and picking out yarn with Mommy are adorable. This will be a treasured book in any library.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin