Five Little Owls, by Mark Carthew

Reviewed by Kathryn Duncan


Good rhyming books can be difficult to find but Mark Carthew has met the rhyming challenge with Five Little Owls. The rhyme and rhythm remind me of Julia Donaldon’s The Gruffaloand as a result, the reader is rewarded with a well written book where the words flow beautifully and musically off the tongue.

We join five little owls as they play hide and seeks across the pages with mice, frog, rabbits and bats. Young children can relate to the excitement of the game being played in the story and can join in the search for the animals as well as the delightful peek-a-boo ending.

Once again, Mini Goss’s illustrations have been perfectly paired with the text and are a delight to look at. The illustrations generate discussion between reader and child as they search the pages for the hiding animals, not only about which animals are hiding, but whether or not those animals are really owl’s prey. As always, if you want to get a feel for the characters, look at the eyes of Goss’s animals.

Five Little Owls will appeal beyond the pre-school age group it is intended for. It is a memorable for book for combining the simplicity of childhood games with the complexity of beautiful rhyme and illustrations. This book is destined to be read over and over again.

Five Little Owls Mark Carthew (text) and Mini Goss(illus)
New Frontier, HB rrp $24.95