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Saturday, December 18, 2021

STORYBOOK SATURDAY: The Christmas Owl by Ellen Kalish & Gideon Sterer - REVIEW!

Hi guys and gals!
Happy holidays and welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

We're celebrating another day of bookish fun with Storybook Saturday...the holiday edition! For those not up to speed on the post, I read a lot of great storybooks and thought, why not give them their own day in the sun. Hence, Storybook Saturday and/or Sunday! It crops up from time to time when the feeling is right and boy does this one ever!  Feel free to join the fun and create a post on your own site with the same name. I'd love to see any linked up in the comments! Anywho...back to the matter at hand.

Today's selection came to my attention via Wunderkind PR.  It was a Storybook released this October that tells the tale of a little owl that found his home suddenly mobile, becoming the center of attention and holiday cheer in our very own New York City.  Ring a bell?  Okay, sad to say, it didn't for me (was I under a rock?!), but apparently it all played out LAST YEAR because this GORGEOUSLY ILLUSTRATED storybook is based on the TRUE STORY of none other than a little owl appropriately dubbed, Rockefeller.  So, sit back, get cozy, and prepare to be entertained, delighted, and educated, as we explore today's holiday title in the spotlight and book of choice...

Ellen Kalish & Gideon Sterer
Illustrated by
Ramona Kaulitzki
Little Brown Books for Young Readers

About the book...
A New York Times bestseller! Experience the beautiful story that captivated the country about a little owl found in the world's most famous Christmas tree. When Little Owl’s home is cut down by people saying it will make a beautiful Christmas tree, she’s not sure she wants anything to do with Christmas, whatever that means. But then she is saved by a woman named Ellen, whose house is merrily decorated for the holiday, and filled with birds who need someone to care for them. Surrounded by kindness and helpful new friends, Little Owl begins to wonder if Christmas might not be such a bad thing after all….

Co-written by Ellen Kalish, caretaker of the real owl found inside the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, The Christmas Owl is a charming story of friendship, compassion, and the true meaning of this special time of year

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This is a BEAUTIFUL book, in both story and images, that shares a tale of unexpected adventure, holiday spirit, and the kindness of strangers.  

Our little owl friend wasn't expecting to go to sleep one night and wake up to a road trip far from home, nor was she to know that the holiday her and her animal friends were contemplating was about to be revealed in all its splendid magical glory.  She'd come to understand Christmas just THAT much more as she journeys from woodlands to city to rehabilitation center and back home once again.  With her new moniker that would forever earmark her story in our hearts, Rocky was returned to where she belonged thanks to the help of perfect strangers turned newly made friends that saw an animal in need an made it their mission to help her.  

If the story itself wasn't enough to bring a gleam to your eye, the illustrator does a wonderful job of visually bringing the story to life.  Page after page of woodland beauty, cityscapes, and that gloriously lit up Rockefeller tree, not to mention our little Rocky herself, appear right before you eyes as the tale unfolds, bringing you to the touching conclusion AND your chance to explore the full real life story on your own!  That's right.  At book's end, it includes a section that details Rocky's story with real life pictures of her fluffy feathered self, and a bit about the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center that helped our young owl friend recover fully in order to return to her wilderness friends.

All in all, it's a wonderful chance to indulge both your fiction and your nonfiction sides this holiday season, while sharing that love of reading with even the youngest amongst your family and friends.  It imparts beautiful messages that touch the heart, while perhaps also sparking that interest in wildlife recovery in the next generation for further exploration off the written page.

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Rocky's Official Ornament

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About the authors and illustrator....

Ellen Kalish is the Executive Director of Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, a rehabilitation and educational center that focuses on rescue and release for wild birds. She served on the board for the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, and is the recipient of the William R. Ginsberg Stewardship Award from the Woodstock Land Conservancy and the Appreciation Award from the Catskill Exotic Bird Club. She invites you to visit her online at

Gideon Sterer is the author of From Ed’s to Ned’s, Not Your Nest!, The Night Knights, and The Midnight Fair, among others. Gideon grew up in the woods of upstate New York where his parents owned a little zoo, in which he would run around after-hours and let the animals out. He now lives in the Hudson Valley and invites you to visit him online at and @gideonsterer.

Ramona Kaulitzki is the illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestseller Sisters First, as well as Wonderful You, Badger’s Perfect Garden, and several others. She enjoys creating characters and breathing life into them while imagining the worlds in which they live, and her love of animals and nature is a major inspiration for her work. She invites you to visit her online at and @ramonakaulitzki.

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Special thanks to Elena and Evalyn of the Wunderkind PR team for the chance to bring this to you and to Little Brown Books for Young Readers for the copy for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the authors, the illustrator, Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, or Rocky herself, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now for your reading and gifting pleasure, so stop by your local brick and mortar, or order your copy online today!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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