Column — A happy-ending Christmas story

Published 10:00 am Sunday, December 19, 2021

We have enjoyed sharing a new Christmas story with our library visitors this week. We have three books that tell the story of a real owl that was found in the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree in Nov. 2020. Three authors chose to tell the story of this tiny owl that traveled from its home in Oneota, New York in a 75-foot-tall Norway spruce. Once a worker discovered him, he was taken to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York. After being identified as a Northern Saw – Whet Owl, he was given lots of and fresh water to drink and released into the wild.

The first version of the story is called Rocky the Christmas Owl by Bobbie Gilbert Kogok. The name Rocky comes from Rockefeller. This book is best for those readers who read with a parent or who are just beginning to be independent readers. The story is told in rhyme and has beautiful painted illustrations.

Another choice would be Rocky’s Christmas Journey by Kimberly V. Dwyer, illustrated by Moran Reudor. Each of the books fictionalize the story based on real events. This particular version is on the reading level of an independent reader but would be fun to read with someone. There is a page of facts regarding the real owl found in the tree as well as a discussion guide that parents and teachers would find helpful.

For our upper elementary students we have The Christmas Owl by Ellen Kalish and Gideon Sterer, illustrated by Ramon Kaulitzki. One of the reasons this story has touched so many hearts is that it tells a story of hope and compassion during the challenging year of 2020. This is definitely a Christmas story that will be enjoyed by children and adults.

Connie Krupa is the children’s program coordinator for the Lunenburg County Public Library System. She can be reached at cckrupa@embarqmail.com.