Top Shelf Productions, 2004. 978-1891830624
Synopsis: Owly is a loveable but lonely owl who spends his days watching and feeding birds in the park. On the way home from the park, Owly rescues a worm from a rainstorm and helps him recover. Can Owly help Wormy find his way home?
Why I picked it up: It was required reading for my graphic novels class, but the premise of the story (an owl looking to make friends) made me want to read more than one.
Why I finished it: This story is painfully adorable! Runton creates for the reader a mostly wordless comic in which the characters communicate largely through the use of symbols like “!!!” and “?”. Owly’s story is sweet and is relatable to readers of any age, and the friendships Owly develops in the course of the short novel help show the meaning of friendship and the power of helping other people. The illustrations are equally enchanting and draw the reader into the story – one of my favorite sequences is a photo album showing how Owly spends the summer with Wormy. Like the story, Runton’s pictures are simple, sweet, and engaging; recommended reading for all ages.
Other related materials: Owly, Vol. 2: Just a Little Blue by Andy Runton; Owly, Vol. 3: Flying Lessons by Andy Runton; Owly, Vol. 4: A Time to be Brave by Andy Runton; Owly, Vol. 5: Tiny Tales by Andy Runton; Owly & Wormy, Friends All Aflutter! by Andy Runton; Bone, Vol. 1: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith; Lunch Lady books by Jarrett J. Krosoczka; Copper by Kazu Kibuishi; Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi; Smile by Raina Telgemeier; Knights of the Lunch Table books by Frank Cammuso; Babymouse books by Jennifer L. Holm