About this book
An Owl at Sea
Susan Vande Griek • Ian Wallace
This is the true story of a Short-eared Owl that plummeted onto the deck of an oil rig in the North Sea, one hundred miles from shore. Weak and tired, it huddled on the deck until riggers provided it with a makeshift shelter and fresh meat to eat. When a helicopter arrived to transport some of the workers back home, they took the owl with them, handing it over to the Scottish SPCA. A few weeks later the owl was strong enough to be released into the countryside.
Susan Vande Griek’s gentle prose poem describes this unusual encounter with a creature from the wild with curiosity and wonder. Ian Wallace’s stunning watercolors show gorgeous seascapes, the subtle beauty of the owl, and the oil rig and its workers, creating compelling visual contrasts.
An author’s note includes information about the Short-eared Owl, a bird found in the Americas, Europe and Asia, whose numbers may be in decline due to loss of habitat.
About the Creators
Susan Vande Griek
Susan Vande Griek is the author of a number of highly acclaimed children’s books. Her picture book Loon, illustrated by Karen Reczuch, was named a USBBY Outstanding International Book and won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction and the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award. More recently, she has written Go Home Bay, illustrated by Pascal Milelli, a glimpse into the life of the artist Tom Thomson, and An Owl at Sea, illustrated by Ian Wallace. A longtime resident of the Maritimes, Susan now lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Ian Wallace is one of Canada’s best-known children’s book creators. He has published many classics, including Boy of the Deeps and Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance. His illustrations for Canadian Railroad Trilogy and Just So Stories have each received three starred reviews. His most recent book is The Curiosity Cabinet. Ian has won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award, among others. He has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the Governor General’s Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Ian lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife, Deb.
Awards and Praise
Praise for An Owl at Sea:
“A quietly engaging picture book.” — Booklist
“This home-away-home story takes flight with its poetic text and a few extraordinary seascape illustrations.” — Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Go Home Bay by Susan Vande Griek, illustrated by Pascal Milelli
“With a strong sense of place, this moody, contemplative title coalesces into a story that will resonate with nature lovers and artists alike.” School Library Journal
“Go Home Bay is a lovely, gentle book that breathes art and poetry.” Quill & Quire
Praise for Loon by Susan Vande Griek, illustrated by Karen Reczuch
Winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Picture Book Award, the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction and the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award
A USBBY Outstanding International Book
“… a delightful celebration of nature … Highly Recommended.” CM Magazine
“This book … has a lyrical text and lush, full-color illustrations.” School Library Journal
Praise for The Curiosity Cabinet, written and illustrated by Ian Wallace
“This beautiful and unusual contribution to Canada’s 150th birthday is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.” Midwest Book Review
Praise for The Slippers’ Keeper, written and illustrated by Ian Wallace
“This exquisitely illustrated picture book … introduces young readers to the concept of conservation and emphasizes that one person can make a difference.” School Library Journal
Praise for Canadian Railroad Trilogy, written and illustrated by Ian Wallace
“… a huge and unusual project, and Wallace has executed it with admirable care.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The atmospheric illustrations ... capture not only the workers’ toil but also the splendor of the Canadian landscape and, obliquely, the price the displaced First Nations people paid for steam-train technology.” Kirkus, starred review