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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on September 11th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 27 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 27

What Kids Are Reading: Owliver

By Robert Krause - recommended for ages 4 to 7

REVIEW BY CAMILLIA LANHAM


When little Owliver starts acting, his mother loves it, but his father wishes he were into something else. Mother owl wants to encourage his gift, and gives him acting and tap-dancing lessons. Father owl wants his little man to become a doctor or a lawyer, and buys him doctor- and lawyer-themed toys. Owliver writes a play about a lawyer and a doctor who meet each other and he is the actor who plays both parts, pleasing both parents equally. His mother is confident her son will become an actor or a play director because of his natural talent. His father tells his mother their son will indeed become a doctor or a lawyer. Each fantasizes about the day their son will fulfill the future they want for him. But he has a surprise for them: to fulfill his own dream of the future. He ends up taking a job that no one could have predicted, and the author waits until the last page to show readers the surprise.

Perhaps the lesson taught in this book is a lesson better suited for parents than for children, as allowing youngsters to pursue their own dream is something many have easily forgotten. At the same time, little Owliver still lives out his own future and becomes who he wants to become, instead of absorbing one of his parents’ fantasies. Throughout the book, watercolor pictures illustrate his youthful trek through what he loves to do, what his father sees fit for him, what his mother envisions, and what he ends up doing. But in no part does Owliver ever look slighted; he is a happy bird, and flies all the way through. It seems like this book contains a lesson for both adults and their offspring, and could be an inspiration for all family members to encourage the path a child feels inclined to take. After all, the future is never a sure thing, it’s unpredictable.

“What Kids are Reading” is a regular feature in the Sun, highlighting children’s books available for young readers in Santa Maria. This week’s recommendation was made by Staff Writer Camillia Lanham.