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Little Owl's Orange Scarf: Tatyana Feeney

Book: Little Owl's Orange Scarf
Author: Tatyana Feeney
Pages: 32
Age Range: 3-6

Little Owl's Orange Scarf is by Tatyana Feeney, author of Small Bunny's Blue Blanket, which we adore. But despite the similarity of title and minimalist illustration style, Little Owl's Orange Scarf has pretty much the opposite premise. Little Owl loves many things. But he does not love the long, orange scarf that his mother knits for him. He tries hard to lose the offending clothing item, but Mommy is too clever. Until, on a visit to the zoo, Little Owl finds the perfect solution to his problem. 

Little Owl's Orange Scarf is about a small child's struggle for control in a world of parental authority. It's about the need to have not just things (or clothes) but to have the right things (or clothes). It's about sticking to your guns, and working out compromise (though admittedly in a manner that not all parents may appreciate). 

Little Owl's Orange Scarf is for the youngest of readers, with minimal text and spare illustrations. The humor is understated, as when we read "Little Owl tried very hard to lose his new scarf", and we see a picture of the scarf sticking out of a trunk labelled "To Peru". Or when we learn that "The yarn shop was more exciting than Little Owl expected" because there is yarn there that is not orange. 

This is, naturally, the perfect companion book to Small Bunny's Blue Blanket. Where the first book celebrates a child's love of a treasured object, Little Owl's Orange Scarf looks at the child's reaction to a gift that isn't well-loved. For my own three-year-old, I think that the Blue Blanket story will be more immediately relatable. But we'll keep this one around to look at after all of the Christmas presents are unwrapped this year. Recommended for home use with preschoolers. 

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (@RandomHouseKids)  
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

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