'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 12 March 2022

Review: The Owl Who Got Left behind

Nobody likes to be left behind. 

And nobody wants to be left out of the famous tales of the friends who left you behind. 

What a raw deal.

You’d think this couldn't possibly happen to someone. It’s just too awful.

But it did!

See you may know the story of the owl and the pussycat who left together on a pea green boat. But this story is not about that owl. 

This story is about the other owl. The owl who was left behind.

On the shore. Sad and alone. Left with no one. Until a rhino happens by.

Poor Owl is too sad to be friends with Rhino. And in his opinion, Rhino just doesn’t understand. So, Owl goes about his business being sad and plotting how he might get back at his meanie friends.

But in the process, Owl fails to see the opportunities that have presented themselves since he was left behind. So consuming is his stewing, he doesn’t realise what’s standing right in front of him. Can Owl wake up and see the truth?

The Owl Who Got Left Behind is a giggle-inducing picture book with strong Jon Klassen vibes. It’s got that dark comedy tone that never fails to delight as the reader very clearly sees what the main character just cannot seem to grasp.

With beautiful illustrations in gorgeous dark glue and grey tones (with a pop of red), the story comes to life. I love the use of different perspectives and changing distances to convey emotion and meaning. I love Owl’s red scarf that tells its own story through the book, and I love the journey of the glorious glowing moon across the pages. There is lots to explore in these illustrations.

This is a picture book with a longer word count, so I also think junior readers might like to tackle it alone. But it is also perfection to devour together with a kid (or two) — to read a page and chat about poor Owl and what he might be thinking.

I adore new takes on old stories, and this one is a hoot (pun intended!).

Title: The Owl Who Got Left Behind
Author: Martine Murray
Illustrator: Anna Read
Publisher: Parachute Press, $29.95
Publication Date: March 2022
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780645039511
For ages: 3 - 8
Type: Picture Book