Runton, A. (2005). Owly: Just a little blue. Marietta, GA: Top Shelf Productions.
Appetizer: This time around Owly is having trouble with a family of bluebirds who don't want to be his friends. But once Owly and Wormy learn that the bluebirds' natural homes are being destroyed, they decide to help build the birds a new home.
Unlike the first book in the series, this volume only focuses on one story and it explores the experience of having a kind gesture being rejected.
This may seem like a dumb and obvious statement since all of the main characters are woodland creatures, but I love how environmentally oriented this series is. These creatures aren't just allegories for the emotions and experiences of new and young readers, they're the allegories for the emotions and experiences of young readers AND they share information about nature and environmentally kind options.
It's also worth noting that a student could easily pick up any of the Owly books and read. No knowledge of the previous books necessary (although potentially more enjoyable).
To Go with the Meal:
After sharing this book in the Owly series, students could raise funds to buy (or build) a class bird feeder or birdhouse for outside the school. Or a teacher could encourage students to work with a family member to build their own birdhouse for outside their house or apartment.
A teacher can also discuss the themes of team work, sacrifice and forgiveness. Since the story also shows characters working together to solve problems, a teacher can draw students' attention to the way the characters use the tools and animals around them to help find solutions.
Tasty Rating: !!!