Owen

( 12 )

Overview

Owen had a fuzzy yellow blanket. Fuzzy goes where I go, said Owen. But Mrs. Tweezers disagreed. She thought Owen was too old for a blanket. Owen disagreed. No matter what Mrs. Tweezers came up with, Blanket Fairies or vinegar, Owen had the answer. But when school started, Owen't mother knew just what to do, and everyone — Owen, Fuzzy, and even Mrs. Tweezers — was happy.

Owen's parents try to get him to give up his favorite blanket before he starts school, but when ...

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Overview

Owen had a fuzzy yellow blanket. Fuzzy goes where I go, said Owen. But Mrs. Tweezers disagreed. She thought Owen was too old for a blanket. Owen disagreed. No matter what Mrs. Tweezers came up with, Blanket Fairies or vinegar, Owen had the answer. But when school started, Owen't mother knew just what to do, and everyone — Owen, Fuzzy, and even Mrs. Tweezers — was happy.

Owen's parents try to get him to give up his favorite blanket before he starts school, but when their efforts fail, they come up with a solution that makes everyone happy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A worthy addition to Henkes's Chester's Way ; Julius, the Baby of the World impressive, engaging oeuvre, this animated tale takes up the case of a wee mouse's devotion to a no-longer-fuzzy blanket named Fuzzy. Imbued with Henkes's characteristically understated humor, spry text and brightly hued watercolor-and-ink pictures chronicle how Owen's next-door neighbor, Mrs. Tweezers, suggests to Owen's parents a series of ploys to separate their son--who is soon to start school--from Fuzzy. The ingenious mouse foils each attempt, until his resourceful mother stumbles upon ``an absolutely wonderful, positively perfect, especially terrific idea.'' With some snipping and sewing, she transforms the beloved blanket into a batch of very portable handkerchiefs, a stratagem that not only keeps Owen happy but manages to silence the meddling Mrs. Tweezers. Even youngsters unattached to a Fuzzy-like object will feel a kinship with the winningly wily Owen--and parents of the attached may find a useful solution to an age-old dilemma. Ages 3-up. Sept.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Beginning school for the first time can be scary. Young readers can help a brother or sister by telling them what school is like and what to expect. They can also read Henkes' book to them. Owen is a mouse who's afraid to face kindergarten without his fuzzy blanket. A nosy, pushy neighbor tries to get Owen's parents to do all kinds of horrible things until finally, Owen's mother comes up with "an absolutely wonderful, positively perfect, especially terrific" solution to the problem. The only thing better than this book would be having a big sister or big brother willing to share lots of school experiences and good ideas.
Hazel Rochman
Like the kids in "Jessica" (1989) and "Chrysanthemum" (1991), Owen the mouse is a sturdy and vulnerable individual, and he is everychild. This time Henkes' droll, gentle picture book is about the toddler's fierce attachment to his security blanket. Simple, lovely words with pen and watercolor illustrations show and tell us that Owen loves his fuzzy yellow blanket with all his heart. "He carried it. And wore it. And dragged it. He sucked it. And hugged it. And twisted it." Fuzzy likes what Owen likes and bears the proof of it, from chocolate milk to peanut butter. When busybody neighbor Mrs. Tweezers suggests to Owen's parents that Owen is old enough to give up Fuzzy, Owen is terrified, but he outwits all their tricks. The blanket goes where he goes: in the bathtub, at the dinner table, to the dentist. But then comes the crisis: How will he go to school? There's no condescension or sentimentality. With a few simple lines, Henkes can transform Owen's nonchalant play into a shocked stillness, his terror expressed in his wide-staring eyes. Perhaps the most memorable frame of all shows Owen snugly enfolded with his scrappy blanket in the heavy, embracing curves of his bedclothes. Henkes' story takes us into the physical immediacy of a small child's day, and kids will recognize both the screaming anguish and the mischief.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688114497
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 45,040
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: 370L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.87 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Biography

Kevin Henkes still owns some of his favorite books from childhood. "They're brimming with all the telltale signs of true love: dog-eared pages, fingerprints on my favorite illustrations, my name and address inscribed on both front and back covers in inch-high lettering, and the faint smell of stale peanut butter on the bindings," he says in an interview on his web site.

Back in his peanut-butter sandwich days, Henkes dreamed of becoming an artist. By high school, he had combined his love of drawing with a newfound interest in writing, and at age 19, he took his portfolio to New York City in hopes of finding a publisher. Young Henkes returned home from his weeklong trip with a contract from Greenwillow Books, and he's worked as a children's writer and illustrator ever since.

Henkes's style has evolved over the years to include more humor, more whimsy and a lot more mice. Though he began illustrating his picture books with realistic drawings of children, he's since developed a recurring cast of mouse characters rendered in a more cartoon-like style -- though with a range of expressions that make the spirited Lilly, anxious Wemberly, fearless Sheila Rae and sensitive Chrysanthemum into highly believable heroines. Owen, the story of a little mouse who isn't ready to give up his tattered security blanket, won a Caldecott Honor Medal for its winsome watercolor-and-ink illustrations.

Many of Henkes's mouse books deal with such common childhood ordeals as starting school, being teased and getting lost. Chrysanthemum, about a mouse whose new schoolmates tease her about her name, was inspired by Henkes's own feelings when he started school. "The book is about family, and how starting something new and going out into the world can be very hard," he told an interviewer for The Five Owls. "I remember going to kindergarten -- my grandfather had a beautiful rose garden, and he gave me the last roses of the season to bring to the kindergarten teacher the next day. I don't even remember how it happened, but an older kid took these flowers from me on the playground, and I remember coming home, feeling awful." As a grown-up, Henkes is able to translate difficult childhood transitions into stories that are both honest and reassuring. In a review of Chrysanthemum, Kirkus Reviews noted: "Henkes's language and humor are impeccably fresh, his cozy illustrations sensitive and funny, his little asides to adults an unobtrusive delight."

Henkes has also written novels for older children, in which he "explores family relationships with breathtaking tenderness" (Publisher's Weekly). In The Birthday Room, for example, a twelve-year-old boy learns the reason for his mother's long estrangement from her brother, and helps effect a reconciliation. "Refreshingly, Henkes has given us a male protagonist who is reflective, creative and emotionally sensitive," wrote Karen Leggett in The New York Times Book Review. "Ben feels the anguish of his mother's long-simmering bitterness and his uncle's agonizing guilt. Yet at a time when it is almost a fad to blame dysfunctional families for problems, we learn that even though there are never simple answers and not many fairy-tale endings, families can heal."

Though his novels are more complex and serious than his picture books, all Henkes's works suggest an author with deep empathy for the intense emotions of childhood. As a Publisher's Weekly reviewer wrote, "Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's books of special value to children."

Good To Know

Henkes's wife, Laura Dronzek, is also an artist. She painted the cover illustration for Henkes' novel Sun and Spoon and illustrated his picture book Oh!.

Henkes has turned down requests to use his mouse characters in a television series, but some of his books are available in video form in Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes Stories. The video's narrators include Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Beth Hurt.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse has been adapted into a stage play.

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    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Racine, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2008

    Priceless!!!

    I had this book when i was a little girl, and i loved it! This book helped me learn to read, and i read it all the time. If you have a child with a blankie this is the book for them, i had a blankie and i loved when i could get the book, my blankie, cuddle up in bed and read away! I am now going to buy the book for my daughter and keep this great read going through the generations!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    lee childs and nelson demille

    The characters in both books are great. Once you start reading these books, it is impossible to put the books down. I have several friends that are now hooked. You will find yourself laughing out loud!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2000

    Owen grows up without fuzzy

    Kevin Henkes uses an artistic technique that is colorful, realistic and within a sense of a regular family life. The pictures are informative in relation to the place of the story. The descriptive pictures allow the reader to understand the detail of activites Owen is going through. The pictorial interpretation of the theme shows the feelings Owen shares for this blanket. While, the plot is helping Owen feel secure with out having his blanket. Kevin Henkes describes in detail how bad Owen wants to keep his blanket. The pictures provide Owen's thoughts and feelings of his specail blanket. Owen shows excellence of it's presentation through children's eye. Children enjoy the pictures and adventure Owen and his blanket go through. Owen is a book that is self contained media with words and pictures. A reader can understand the full story by reading the book. The text and illustrations of Owen compliment each other. The words explain the picture, as well as the picture saying the words. Owen is written in a direct and simple style.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2007

    A wonderful tale of an objects to hold on to forever

    Owen dousent want to let go of fuzzy, fuzzy is a yellow blanquet that owen has had since he was a baby. Miss Twizers thinks that is Owen holds on to fuzzy to long he will never lirn to be indapendent. Will he or will Owen be a baby forever !?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2006

    Caldecott Honor Book

    Ever since he was a baby, Owen carried his fuzzy yellow blanket everywhere with him. ¿Fuzzy goes where I go¿ and ¿Fuzzy likes what I like,¿ said Owen. However, Owen was getting older and the time had come for him to start school, so Mrs. Tweezers gave Owen¿s parents some ideas on how to get rid of the blanket. But no matter what Mrs. Tweezers came up with, Owen had the answer. He was determined to hold onto his fuzzy yellow blanket, but everyone wanted him to stop carrying it. Could they come up with a solution that they could all agree on? Owen is a great book that basically all young children can relate to. Any child who has a ¿special something¿ that they take everywhere with them can relate to Owen. He is very fond of his blanket, and when the time comes, he is told that he can¿t carry it around with him anymore. Owen then faces the prospect of letting go of his blanket. This lesson teaches children that while it is okay to have a ¿special something,¿ there may come a time when you have to let it go (however, it will never be truly gone, for you will always have the memories and maybe even a little part of it). Kevin Henkes lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Madison, Wisconsin. Both an author and an illustrator at the young age of nineteen, he left his home in Wisconsin and went to New York City with his portfolio in search of a publisher. Greenwillow Books made his dreams come true and they have published every one of his books. Henkes, Kevin. Owen. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1993. RL: Ages 4-7, Grades PreK-2

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2005

    Warm Story of Growing Up That Will Appeal to both Children and Parents

    This is a sweet story of Owen, a little mouse growing up and having to adjust to changes in his life of loving parents wanting very much to do the right thing by their child and of a nosy neighbor, Mrs. Tweezers, with unwanted advice about how Owen can be separated from his cherished blankie, Fuzzy, before he starts to school. Although Mom and Dad dutifully try out Mrs. Tweezers' suggestions without success, Mom finally comes up with the perfect solution so that Owen can keep the security of Fuzzy and still be a 'big boy' when he starts to school. The colorful illustrations wonderfully complement this story and this book would make a great gift for a child who has had a blankie like Fuzzy that was so important to him. I have a great-nephew named Owen who will be receiving this for his second birthday!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2003

    Funny, touching, and very cute!!

    I absolutely love this book. The first time I read it, I laughed all the way through. The illustrations are adorable and the story is very touching. Owen is very attached to a blanket. This blanket goes everywhere and does everything with him. Parents will enjoy this story too as Owen's parents try to break his attachment to the blanket before he goes to kindergarten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2001

    Blanket Coverage of Staying Connected with Security Objects!

    Almost all children have a favorite blanket or stuffed toy that makes any situation more comfortable. Children vary a lot in how long and how extensively they rely on these friendly objects. Social pressures to relinquish the objects often make the child even more insecure. In this worthy story, your child can learn how to keep this warm connection while reducing social embarrassment. 'Owen had a fuzzy yellow blanket . . . . He loved it with all his heart.' 'Fuzzy goes where I go.' 'Fuzzy likes what I like.' 'He carried it. And wore it. And dragged it. He sucked it. And hugged it. And twisted it.' You can see the close connection from these quotes. The crisis is brought on when Owen announces, 'I have to bring Fuzzy [no longer literally so] to school.' What to do? If you are a first-time parent, this book will suggest a solution that almost all parents rely on (or a variant thereof). As such, it is a great gift to parents and children. The book was honored by Caldecott for its illustrations which rely on bright watercolor paints and black pen outlines. Owen and the other characters in the book are mice, and they have a visual sweetness that helps take the anxiety out of the book's subject. If the characters were humans, the book could feel threatening to the child who isn't ready to give up the blanket or other security object. I suggest that you also ask your child what you can do to help make new situations feel more comfortable. The process of becoming more separate from home and parents is a difficult one. Although almost everyone will make it, there's no reason why the transition has to be a harsh and unpleasant one. Provide an inner sense of security in all the loving ways you know! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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