Night Owl


Title: Night Owl

Author: Toni Yuly

Illustrator: Toni Yuly

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Year: 2015

Word Count: 140


Story Element PACING  Toni Yuly does a great job of pacing this sweet little story for the youngest listeners. With pictures and sparse text, Night Owl is a perfect bedtime story. 

She begins by telling the reader that Night Owl likes to stay up late. Now, I know a lot of toddlers and preschoolers and all of them like to think they are night owls too. They have an immediate connection to the main character. So they are happy to join in Night Owl’s nighttime adventure.

Good-bye sun.

Hello moon.

Then the problem is introduced. Night Owl looks around and finds that he is alone.

Where is Mommy Owl?

Through a series of noises, Night Owl listens for his mommy.

He hears a woodpecker tapping, a train whistling, a cricket chirping, and a toad croaking.

Tap, tap, tap.  Tooooot Toooooot. Chirp Chirp.   Croak Croak.

When the sky starts making noise and Night Owl starts going home, the suspense builds. Will Night Owl find his mommy? Will he get home before the storm hits?

Pitter Patter. Whooosh. Rumble Rumble Rumble. BOOM!

Night Owl is home. He tells himself that he is brave. He closes his eyes and listens. Then he hears a familiar sound.


It’s Mommy Owl.

Even the bravest preschooler will agree… That’s

the nicest sound of all

Night Owl closes his eyes and goes to sleep under Mommy Owl’s wing.

Paced so perfectly and quietly, your toddler is now ready for sleep.


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12 Responses to “Night Owl”

  1. Linda E.H. February 28, 2015 at 6:09 PM #

    cute book. It brings back memories of being lost in a store and having to find mom. Different details, same concept.


    • Juliana Lee February 28, 2015 at 10:21 PM #

      Wow! Scary! But you know there are several universal themes that never go out of style.


  2. SevenAcreSky February 26, 2015 at 9:03 PM #

    Yes, Juliana, the pacing was so effective here! Great example. Thanks for sharing this book.


  3. Janet Smart February 26, 2015 at 7:52 AM #

    Sounds like a really cute book. It shows that few words work in picture books – if they are just the right words.


    • Juliana Lee February 26, 2015 at 8:52 AM #

      Yes, Janet. And if you think 140 words is great, just wait until you see my next post. Spoiler Alert: only 36 words total in the same 3 repeated phrases! It will be awesome!


  4. Joyce Tucker February 25, 2015 at 7:06 PM #

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful example of pacing. It seems to have great word play as well with the onomatopoeia.


    • Juliana Lee February 26, 2015 at 1:04 AM #

      Yes, it does. So basically it’s just a great book! 🙂


  5. thelogonauts February 25, 2015 at 5:14 PM #

    Sounds lovely, and I like how you thought about from the target audience’s reactions too.


    • Juliana Lee February 26, 2015 at 1:05 AM #

      Thank you. I do think that’s an important point. When we chose books to buy or borrow we always look for ones for specific readers. I think we need to remember that when writing as well.


  6. ManjuBeth February 25, 2015 at 10:56 AM #

    Thanks for showing a great example of pacing. I like the way you layout your comments and book text.


    • Juliana Lee February 26, 2015 at 1:06 AM #

      Thank you. Must admit though, I just learned that this week … through this group. Always learning!


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