Thursday, October 1, 2015
All about Owls
Whoooo doesn't like owls? They're cute, they're mysterious, they're super trendy. They are certainly a bird you won't forget seeing! Historically, they've also been viewed mystically as full of evil boding. We think of them as wise. Their swiveling head is surreal, and their talons: fearsome.
Did you know there are over 200 species of owl? Whoo knew?! If getting a layman's glimpse into the variety of owls piques your interest, Matt Sewell's book Owls: Our Most Charming Bird is definitely for you. The books covers 50 different kinds of owls, conveniently divided by region: Dessert Owls, Tropical Owls, Wilderness Owls, and Woodland Owls.
Each owl gets a page spread - on one page is a watercolor illustration of the owl, drawn by Matt, and the other page is his description of the bird. The owls are hardly Audubon's but they do whimsically capture the essence of the bird while being highly recognizable. The text is no more than a couple paragraphs for each bird, and is hardly scientific. In fact, the descriptions are largely fantastical, imaging birds as various concoctions of leg of newt, coal ash, and dragon fire. That doesn't mean it's all irreverent, he does also mention what makes a particular owl unique or how that particular bird was viewed historically.
My biggest disappointment with this book was its size. Like with Things I've Said to My Children, I expected a coffee table display sized book. Instead, it's small, only about 5.5"x7.5" - admittedly, given the brevity of description, it doesn't need to be larger, but the book is definitely more pocket-sized that coffee table sized.
The pages themselves are crisp, clean, minimal, allowing the focus to truly be on these magnificent, quirky, unusual birds. He even includes a "field guide" checklist at the end of the book, in case you want to go searching for these solitary birds, so you can mark which ones you see.
As with most books on nature, there are comments assuming evolution as fact and jabs at humans if a habitat is diminishing. All in all, though, if you are looking for an amusing take on these distinguished birds, and not a scientific one, this is sure to be an enjoyable addition to your library.
And, not going to lie, the artwork is totally frameable and would be super cute as a collage on a wall. Even if you don't like the descriptions, it could be worth the purchase just for the gallery you'd get. Or buy two copies. The gallery idea is really enticing. Just saying.
I received a complimentary copy of Owls from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This post does contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission for referring business. Thank you for your support!