Owls make a great Fall theme. Here are my favorite owl books, songs, and rhymes for use at story time.
Miss Katie's Recommended Books
- Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Sarah, Percy, and Bill, three owl babies, deal with anxieties while they wait for their mother to return with food. This is one my favorite picture books to read aloud. Kids love it when I make Bill's voice sound whiny and high-pitched when he says, "I want my mommy," and it's great to see all the kids' eyes grow wider and wider as the owls' worries increase. This is my go-to choice for family/all-ages story times.
- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Two things make this book a story time success: the suspense of waiting for the owl to show up, and the invitation to call for the owl using hooting sounds. This book's quiet, poetic mood easily calms a room full of children, and the arrival of the owl is always met with the same awe and surprise felt by the story's main character. Though this is a winter story, it works well at any time of year, and is great for elementary students as well as a preschoolers.
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Jane Cabrera
You can almost never go wrong with a picture book version of a favorite children's song. In this book, a mother owl and her baby and many other parent/child animal pairs sing to a bright star in the night sky. I reviewed this book in detail here.
Other Possible Books
- Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel
- Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan
- A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na
- The Owl and the Pussycat illustrated by Jan Brett
- Good-night Owl by Pat Hutchins
- Goodnight Owl by Dwell Studio
- In My Tree by Sara Gillingham
Songs & Rhymes
- There's a Wide-Eyed Owl
This rhyme is easy to learn, and even babies and toddlers like to watch their caregivers make owl eyes with their fingers. I like to pair this with Owl Moon because of the "whoo-whoo" at the end of the rhyme.
- Five Little Owls
Count down from five to zero on your fingers or on a flannel board with this simple rhyme about four owls on a moonlit night. (If you need clipart for a flannel board, I recommend these images from My Cute Graphics, one of which appears in the image at the top of this post.)
- Flap, Flap, Flap Little Owls (based on Flap, Flap, Flap Little Bats)
As you sing this song, encourage the kids to pretend to be owls as they make the movements. At the end, have them all curl up and pretend to sleep.
- Two Little Owls
This catchy vintage tune from Burl Ives will get stuck in your head very easily, which means it is also easy for your audience to learn and sing again at home. I like to sing it with finger puppets or stick puppets.
- Owl in the Tree
Hoot like an owl and make other bird sounds with this song found at Mel's Desk.