The Way Home

by John Holbo on December 9, 2006

Belle and I are preparing to fly home to the old country. A while back some of you asked about good comics for kids. It so happens I have a couple fine choices I am preparing to dispense on the long plane flight: Owly comics, by Andy Runton. At the author’s site you can preview lots of stuff. It’s very charming and suitable for anyone over the age of 2. No words. Just pictures of worms and birds and the occasional squirrel. So, for example, over a 10 page spread, Owly rescues Wormy from drowning in a puddle and nurses him back to health. Then the two set off to find Wormy’s parents. (That from The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer. You can preview it.) Here’s an amazon link.



Tyrone Slothrop 12.09.06 at 10:52 pm

Amazon (or someone quoted thereon) says it’s appropriate for ages 9-12, but it sounds like you’ve gotten into it earlier. Good for a 6 y.o.? A 4 y.o.?


John Holbo 12.09.06 at 11:02 pm

Since it is profoundly rated G, the only danger is that the too-young set would be bored by it. Since it’s all pictures, you don’t need to be able to read. Although a certain amount of visual literacy is needed, I suppose.


Doug M. 12.10.06 at 2:10 am

Are your girls too young for Akiko? (I shouldn’t think. My 5-year-old enjoys it a lot.)

I can also recommend The Courageous Princess — beautiful art, fun story. Not complete yet, alas.

Doug M.


Vance Maverick 12.12.06 at 7:27 pm

You got me curious about Owly, so I’ve checked the first book out from the library. Offhand I suspect it will be far beyond what our 2 1/2-year-old can handle, but (as the Mole Sisters put it), you never know.


John Holbo 12.13.06 at 10:01 am

Vance, as it turns out my 2 1/2 year old was a bit bored by it. But that was ok. It was important that when the 5-year old got one, Mei-Mei got the same thing. Even if the 5-year old ended up reading both. Which she did.

My 2 1/2 year old did get as far as saying ‘owl and ‘worm’ and pointing with a degree of interest. How did yours do?


Vance Maverick 12.13.06 at 12:31 pm

She got a bit more out of it than that, I think. But there’s a fair amount of quasi-verbal cleverness in the book — when Wormy tells how he lost his parents, the story appears as mini-panels in a dialogue balloon, with nested balloons (containing rebus-like picture speech) when his parents speak. I narrated as best I could, but still Rosa flipped forward, stopping to comment when Wormy smiled or cried. I wonder also whether the pages aren’t a bit too graphically dense for her.

I think I’ll return to books with words for the time being. Rosa likes to hear them in their sequence, sometimes stopping me to hear little fragments over and over again. (“Oh,” said the Mole Sisters. “Pity.”) But Owly is very sweet, and I imagine she’ll enjoy it later.

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