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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Inky: The Snow Owl is a children’s animal picture book written by Dr. David Florence and illustrated by Jesse Maloney. Whatever happened to Ophelia Owl’s new baby snow owl? The little community of snow owls, which had made the northern tundra of Canada their home, couldn’t help but wonder where the new little one was. Why hadn’t anyone seen him or her? One day, Ophelia’s new owlet got tired of being cooped up in the igloo all the time. He toddled out into the bright sunshine on his own. Those who saw him were stunned. Whoever heard of a black snow owl? That was just so wrong, they gossiped among themselves. Mrs. Snip promptly called him Inky and soon the other snow owls began calling him out of the igloo and laughing at him. The little owl felt so badly at the laughter that he stopped coming out at all, preferring the safety of his home to venturing out again, but then something marvelous happened.
Dr. David Florence’s Inky: The Snow Owl teaches kids the importance of diversity and appreciating people for who they are instead of what they look like. The story also highlights the fact that each person is special and unique, and deserves to be celebrated as such. Jesse Maloney’s illustrations are whimsical and charming. I couldn’t help but marvel at how natural his clothing-clad snow owls actually looked. His use of color to recreate the Canadian tundra is inspired. Will Inky ever feel confident enough to leave his igloo again? Dr. Florence’s book is written in language appropriate for new readers, so they can find the answer to that question on their own. Inky: The Snow Owl is most highly recommended.