Little Owl's Night

by Divya Srinivasan (Author)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

It's evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings.

A full moon rises and Little Owl can't understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep.

Putting a twist on the bedtime book, Little Owl's Night is sure to comfort any child with a curiosity about the night.

Kirkus Reviews

A graceful bedtime story celebrates the beauty found in night.

Little Owl loves the night forest. He can’t imagine a better place. He glides from friend to friend, watching and listening. Hedgehog snuffles for mushrooms. Turtle hides in her shell as fireflies dot the sky. But try as he might, Little Owl cannot wake Bear inside the Grumbly Cave. He snores soundly. But what if the bear has never seen stars? As morning draws near, Little Owl settles in on his branch and whispers softly to his mother, “[T]ell me again how night ends.” “Spiderwebs turn to silver threads,” she begins. “The sky brightens from black to blue, blue to red, red to gold.” But Little Owl does not hear. His wide, innocent green eyes have already shut tight. Srinivasan’s picture-book debut beckons readers to follow this curiously adorable creature through the sky. The moon and stars illuminate the dark background, and a flat palette of black, greens and browns blankets the forest in quiet stillness. More lyrical than linear, the story flits from one animal to the next. But readers won’t mind.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews 2011, LLC Used with permission

Publishers Weekly

There's a surfeit of books about going to bed, but fewer about the beauty of night after all the humans have gone to sleep. In her debut, Srinivasan explores this world through the character of Little Owl, a mite of a bird with enormous green eyes. "Little Owl visited his friend the raccoon. As they sat in the clover, fog rolled in and hovered just overhead." There's no thread joining the events of Little Owl's pleasant evening; he thinks about showing his friend Bear the moon, but Bear doesn't wake up. Fox says hello, but doesn't stay. "Tell me again how night ends," Little Owl asks his mother. "The moon and stars fade to ghosts," she tells him. "Spiderwebs turn to silver threads." The story's chief virtue is its graceful, balletic prose; the artwork's crisp edges and cold greens and blacks, by contrast, have a polished, commercial feel--a Mary Blair vibe in a Photoshop era. It's a provocative inversion of the classic bedtime story, and a solid first outing. Srinavasan's message is that night is a delightful place, and that's useful knowledge for small children. Ages 3-5. (Sept.)

Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-K--Little Owl-almost overly cute, with huge green eyes-loves the night forest. He flutters around and observes the activities of his nocturnal neighbors. White-faced possums waddle by, bright-eyed beavers chomp on trees against the backdrop of the round moon, crickets chirp, frogs croak, and Little Owl takes it all in. Eventually he returns home, where Mama tells him his favorite story: how night becomes day. "The moon and stars fade to ghosts...the sky brightens from black to blue, blue to red, red to gold...." However, Little Owl does not hear or see it; he is fast asleep. Many young listeners will meet the same pleasant fate by way of this eye-catching, lilting, and reassuring book.--Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for LITTLE OWL'S NIGHT by Divya Srinivasan: "This debut picture book gets it all just right. The story, while familiar, is executed deftly and with heart, and the crisp graphic elements of the artwork juxtapose well against the pretty prose." —Booklist, starred review

"The story's chief virtue is its graceful, balletic prose... It's a provocative inversion of the classic bedtime story, and a solid first outing. Srinivasan's message is that night is a delightful place, and that's useful knowledge for small children." —Publisher's Weekly

"A graceful bedtime story celebrates the beauty found in night... Hold on to Little Owl's tail feathers and soar." —Kirkus Reviews

"This exceptional first book by Srinivasan, a talented illustrator... follows Little Owl during his nighttime explorations... this bedtime tale may even convert children who are afraid of the dark into adventuresome night owls" - New York Times Book Review

"This is the most visually and verbally gorgeous picture book of the year... Simple, dazzling - and simply dazzling." —The Boston Globe

Divya Srinivasan
Divya Srinivasan ( was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, but spent most of her childhood in California and then Texas. A talented animator, she has worked on films, music videos, and TV shows. Her first book was Little Owl's Night.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2011
Alabama Camellia Award
Nominee 2013 - 2014

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