Little Owl’s Orange Scarf by Tatyana Feeney
Little Owl lived with his mother on the edge of Central Park. He loved lots of things like ice cream and riding his scooter, but he did not like his new scarf. First of all, it was orange. Second, it was itchy. Third, it was way too long. So Little Owl avoided wearing it whenever he could, but his mother kept on finding it and having him wear it anyway. Nothing worked! Then Little Owl took a class trip to the zoo and came back without his scarf. It was lost for good this time. So Little Owl helped his mother make his new scarf. He loved it. First of all, it was blue. Second, it was soft. Third, it was just the right size. It was even perfect for visits to the zoo.
Feeney has struck just the right tone with this picture book. Happily, it does not come off as whining but as a child who just does not like an article of clothing. His attempts to lose the scarf or at least give it away are clever and cute. The working together with his parent to create a new scarf is a smart turn in the story that leads to satisfaction for everyone. When the little twist at the end is revealed, the story is entirely satisfying.
The art is kept very minimal and simple. I must mention that the orange in the hardcover version I have is much more bright and intense than the cover above shows. The entire book is done in black lines, orange and teal, making the colors very important. The black lines are done with curls and playfulness that add to the light touch of the story as a whole.
Light and fun, this is a book that will work well at toddler story times, especially on winter days with scarves of their own. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Random House Children’s Books.