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Owls are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual…

Owls are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet

by Sara O'Leary

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Owls Are Good at Keeping Secrets is an alphabet book full of animals and made-up animal traits. The illustrations are beautiful and really add to the text of the book. Unfortunately, this book just fell flat for me. A good alphabet book is difficult to write and assemble. There is nothing to connect between letters which makes it too disjointed for a good read-aloud. It is a cute and silly alphabet book but lacks any cohesiveness. ( )
  librarianpenguin | Jan 8, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There are thousands of alphabet books out there but as the subtitle promises this is an unusual alphabet book. Each letter is the story of an animal that begins with that letter and a trait it has. Not surprisingly for Oo we learn that Owls are good at keeping secrets. The back cover has a six questions that draw the reader in and also serve as a review to see how much they remember. This is a great book that I enjoy reading to my kids as much as they enjoy hearing it. The best part is that it's teaching them the alphabet while not seeming to be a learning book at all. ( )
  True54Blue | Jan 8, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What a sweet alphabet book! Each page displays a letter and an anecdote about an animal. The reader is not taught dry facts about said animal, but rather imagined personality traits. Charming illustrations drive home the fact.

Even as an adult I found myself drawn in, feeling a connection with my new friends. Why yes, like a narwhal I can be perfectly happy alone. Kangaroos aren't good at sharing! Who can blame them really? Reading the book was such an adventure in empathy. What a gentle way to introduce kids to the concept of books allowing us to understand what others feel.

This is not the sort of alphabet book that I would pick up to explicitly teach phonics. That's not what it's for, really. It's lovely for imagining all the lovely characters that fill the world.
  HannahJo | Jan 4, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Received the book as part of the early reviewers program. The illustrations are absolutely charming with a soft slightly desaturarted colour palette. It's a traditional ABC book with one page per letter (shown in upper and lower case), accompanied by a "fact" about each animal, most of which aren't true (I suspect lions particularly do like napping).

It's not fantastical enough to be obviously fantasy to a young child, so I'd hesitate on this one--the literalist in me would have 100% accepted that, for instance, "alligators think you'd like them if you got to know them" as a child, whereas I'm fairly sure now most alligators don't give humans a second thought. Further, it's only the animal that's connected to the letter, so you don't get that reinforcement of letters (as you would with, say, "alligators adore all art," to make up an example.

My gold standard for alphabet books is "Whatley's Quest" which has no words and lets you hunt through a beautiful, richly-stuffed image for as many appropriate words matching the letter as you can come up with.
  ashleytylerjohn | Dec 23, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Alphabet books are foundation books. They are the first we will purchase and borrow to share with our children. Alphabets teach our children the letters that become words, which become sentences, then paragraphs, then stories. The alphabet is the key to opening up the magical world of stories. The problem is alphabet books can be a bit of a bore to read. As the adults, charing these books, they can be a bit dry and hard to engage in multiple readings. I am always so impressed with those authors who can take a simple concept like the alphabet book and make it fun, make it a book grown ups will want to share with the children in their lives again and again.

Owls Are Good At Keeping Secrets by Sara O’Leary and Jacob Grant ticks all the boxes for an engaging and unique alphabet book. Not only is the art incredible, lively and beautiful, but the text is wonderfully clever and very funny. Each letter has a clever little anecdote about an animal. For example, “Giraffes usually have just one best friend.” Owls Are Good At Keeping Secrets is an alphabet book you will not mind reading over and over again. It will be one of those books that holds pride of place on your bookshelf. It is a book destined to become one of the first your children will read independently. It truly is a book that belongs in daycares, preschools and kindergarten classes. I would not be surprised to see a board book version within the year. ( )
  StephLamb | Dec 18, 2018 |
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