Gr 2-3-A colorful, factual look at raptors of the night, full of information tied specifically to the owls of North America. General facts on physiology, hunting tactics, digestion, habitats, and communication are offered, as is a section on mating, egg laying and incubation, and owlet development. A final page proffers further snippets on these birds. Gibbons's trademark watercolors provide lively renditions of a variety of these silent hunters. Not as species-specific or as detailed as Jean De Sart's handsome Birds of the Night (Charlesbridge, 1994) and slightly more informative than Jim Arnosky's excellent All about Owls (Scholastic, 1995), this is a bright addition to owl lore for younger readers.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Gibbons cranks out yet another serviceable but barely interesting volume and this time she's chosen a topic that could be quite fascinating. First, she offers a basic description; next, several pages of physical characteristics-some, but not all, with subtitles; then a more specific account of barn owls raising young; finally, the requisite nod to environmental issues, with illustrations of bad men cutting down trees. The text limps ("It is believed that there are 21 different kinds of owls living in North America") and the pictures support but don't improve it. In fact, on the double-paged spread that shows a variety of owls, one would be hard pressed to see the differences in the rather smeary and sometimes too small illustrations. Worst of all, Gibbons makes no attempt to tell a story or to do much more than list the facts. Encyclopedias engage the reader more effectively, as does the Internet. Schools and libraries have many better options (Jim Arnosky's All About Owls (1995), for instance) for this topic. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)