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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Owly and Wormy: Bright Lights and Starry Nights, by Andy Runton. Atheneum Books, Simon & Schuster. 2012. $18.99 ages 3 and up

They want to see the stars.

There are many things to
prevent that from happening.

Can the two find the courage
together to persevere in the
darkness and find the light...

and some new friends?

Ah, books that don't need words to tell a wonderful, charming tale! You can't help but love them...and neither can the kids who may find themselves in the story, and need not be readers to take great pleasure in sharing them. They were once comic book characters; now, Owly and Wormy have found a new home in picture book format. The size of the book itself allows for an expansion of their world and their actions.

The two are the best kind of friends...they are there for each other. They have decided to take up stargazing. Using their telescope from the vantage point of their tree house results in unexpected difficulty. They can't see past the many leaves that usually offer safety and privacy. There's only one thing to do. They will leave the woods in search of a hill and a better vantage point. Thus, they will be able to see the many stars in the night sky.

There are a few obstacles. First, Wormy is very fearful of the dark. Then, there's the drenching rain. Finding sanctuary in a nearby cave, the darkness intensifies and with that, night sounds become more pronounced. Where's their telescope? Can they find it? What might have happened to it?

If there are no words, the illustrations must be stellar to move the story forward; Andy Runton is adept at creating warmth and deep friendship while also bringing the adventure of dark night and a frightening storm to his 'readers'. And, it's a graphic novel...just like the big guys!!!

I love how Mr. Runton uses dialogue bubbles filled with pictures to allow all children access to his matter the age or the language spoken. Story is the same in all languages! Deep friendship, fear of the dark and  fast-paced adventure will have even the most reluctant reader making a return visit.

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