January 31, 2018 (and morning of February 1) is a lunar eclipse of a “Super Blue Blood Moon.” I know very little about such things, yet I am fascinated by them. Local meteorologists have been sharing their knowledge of the upcoming event and our fingers are crossed for no cloud cover.
This awesome celestial occurrence provides a wonderful opportunity to share Jane Yolen’s book Owl Moon. It’s a poetic story of a little girl and her father taking a walk into the nighttime world to go owling, and it features beautiful illustrations by John Schoenherr.
Side note: I’ve never been owling, but I have experienced the nighttime shadow of an owl swooping down towards its chosen perch and listened to their familiar “hoots”. Several years ago, tree-trimmers found a nest of owlets in one of our backyard trees. And, to our delight, several weeks later we had the fortune of watching those same owls leave that nest.
A few ideas for sharing Owl Moon and/or the Super Moon with children:
- Read the story with a soft, slow voice to create suspense.
- Point out the long shadows, the full moon and the brightness of the night.
- Talk about nighttime and what makes it different from daytime.
- Take a quiet, nighttime walk without talking. Afterwards, ask, “What did you hear, see, smell, feel?”
- Listen to the call of an owl and try to imitate the sound.
- Introduce words like: roost, nocturnal, prey, perch, raptor.
I hope you enjoy the story, the Super Moon, and a quiet, nighttime walk.