Children's Literary Events · Picture books

WOW! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood and performance by Little Angel Theatre

One of our absolute favourite picture books is WOW! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood. Published by Macmillan Children’s Books this is a gorgeous story of discovery and colours.

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One day a little owl decides to embark on an adventure, instead of going to sleep in the morning she decides to stay up and see what the day time is like. Of course this owl has only ever seen the dark night so her eyes are well and truly opened when she sees all the colours of the day.

“‘WOW!’ Said the owl” at the discovery of a new colour at every page turn; the yellow sun, the green of the trees, the fluttering red butterflies and of course the beautiful burst of colour in a huge rainbow across the sky.

Tim Hopgood creates stunning artwork full of bright and vibrant colours. They are wonderfully stimulating for young children with each piece providing a wealth of opportunities for discovering the world and developing language. Coupled with deliciously rich and descriptive language this book is a joy to read aloud and one that little ones will love to hear again and again.

This book has been adapted into a play by Little Angel Theatre and we got tickets to see it in Harrogate during their recent tour. The stage was set in the cosy surroundings of The Studio at Harrogate Theatre.

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I was curious about how the book would work as a one-woman show but we were instantly engaged by the actress who told the story beautifully whilst also reacting like and taking on the mannerisms of the owl.

At first glance the set appears to be very simple but as the story and colours unfolded so did the set. Hidden props in secret pockets were revealed effortlessly with grace and perfect timing. The set changed colour through a clever use of lights, props and an ever changing, amazing costume.

There was plenty to keep little ones entertained alongside the colourful set; a puppet owl that hid and reappeared as she explored the day and a grey cloud puppet whose very grumpy face made us all laugh. There was music and singing that perfectly matched the different colours, we are still singing the tune to ‘Yellow’.

A truly engaging performance with seamless set transitions and gentle interactions with the audience. At 40 minutes long this is a perfect show to take young children to.

You can find out more about Little Angel Theatre and their upcoming performances on their website here.

You can read our review of another of Tim Hopgood’s books, Hooray for Hoppy! here and see more of his beautiful work on his website here.

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