Owl Babies, Words by Martin Waddell, Illustrated by Patrick Benson, published by Walker Books
This heart-warming and beautifully illustrated classic tale, about three baby owls awaiting and celebrating their mother's return, has always been one of our favourites. It's a book that has been a part of our daughter's life from her earliest months, when we first introduced her to the nocturnal grove of Sarah, Percy and Bill.
The owl babies snuggle together and await the return of their mother with varying degrees of confidence (Sarah: "She'll bring us mice and things that are nice"), anxiety (Percy: "Or a fox got her!") and longing (Bill: "I want my mummy!).
The mild peril lasts just long enough before finally their mother returns, and the owlets (and our toddler) express their relief and pure, wondrous joy (Mummy Owl: "What's all the fuss? You knew I'd come back").
In recent weeks it's been a helpful book for reassuring our daughter that we will always be there for her, too. It's also a good analogy for the range of emotions felt by young children, ideal for our daughter (now 2 and a half) as she starts to gain in confidence, shows an interest in increasing her independence, and then comes running back into our arms.