Owl Babies

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Owl Babies
Owl Babies.jpg
AuthorMartin Waddell
IllustratorPatrick Benson
GenreChildren's literature, picture book
Published1992 (Walker Books)
Media typePrint (hardback)
Pages32 (unpaginated)

Owl Babies is a 1992 book by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson. It is about three owlets that wake up one night to find their mother gone, worry about her absence, but are then elated when she inevitably returns from her night flight.


The Horn Book Magazine, in a review of the board book edition of Owl Babies, wrote "too much text on each spread, destroying the pace of the original and demanding too much of the board-book audience."[1] and School Library Journal wrote "This simple story pales in comparison to the exceptionally well-crafted illustrations. .. The repetition just doesn't work. The plot is too meager, the text too unexciting. .. Simple, well-written books about mother love and reassurance for this age group are abundant.",[1] while BookList, suggested "This story will strike a familiar chord in every small child who has been afraid when left by his or her parent, and parents will perhaps gain a new understanding of how a small child might feel when he or she is left." and concluded "A wonderful "read to me" book for nap time, story time, or bedtime."[2]

Booktrust called it "reassuring and stunningly illustrated"[3] and The Guardian found it "The best owl family.."[4]

Owl Babies has also been reviewed by Publishers Weekly,[5] Kirkus Reviews,[6] Books for Keeps,[7] and Early Childhood Ireland.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Owl Babies: Reviews". catalog.wccls.org. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Owl babies". Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Owl Babies". booktrust.org.uk. Booktrust. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  4. ^ Julia Eccleshare (16 March 2015). "Children's books: The book doctor - Which are the best owls in children's books?". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Owl Babies [2002 board book]". Publishers Weekly. PWxyz LLC. 7 October 1996. Retrieved 21 January 2017. Patrick Benson's disarming cross-hatched pictures of fluffy, wide-eyed owl babies, and the use of light colored text against a black background, turn this sweet story into a hauntingly lovely little book.
  6. ^ "Owl Babies". Kirkus Reviews. Kirkus Media LLC. 15 October 1992. Retrieved 21 January 2017. Benson's soft, wide-eyed birds--rendered in delicate pen strokes touched with gentle color that makes the dramatic, dark night seem appropriately awesome--are perfect stand-ins for wise little toddlers who also know Mom will turn up--but still can't help wondering.
  7. ^ Judith Sharman (January 1995). "Owl Babies". Books for Keeps. BFK (90). Retrieved 21 January 2017. It touches on the deepest fears of all of us as we wait for a loved one to return, but in its reassuring resolution we can celebrate the warmth at the heart of a good relationship.
  8. ^ "Book Reviews: Owl Babies". earlychildhoodireland.ie. ECI. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2017. A charming, reassuring book, full of heart.