When we were young we had a simple name for those threadbare blankets we couldn’t let go of – they were our security blankets. Now we have clinical descriptions and even an official sounding name for them – the transitional object. Kevin Henkes is an illustrator who knows how to capture the essence of childhood in a believable way that is also accessible to the young children who are also his target audience. That’s exactly what Henkes has done with his Caldecott Honor childrens books Award winning “Owen”.
Owen has a baby blanket about which he is quite fond. He calls his blanket Fuzzy. Things go on swimmingly between Owen and Fuzzy until a neighbor puts the bug in his parents’ ear that he might just be a little too old to “be carrying that thing around”. Using his signature watercolor style using mice as his characters, Kevin Henkes carefully unfolds the tale of a little mouse, his time worn blanket and two confused and bewildered parents who only want to help their mouse son kick his habit.
Mrs. Tweezers (the nosy neighbor) doesn’t help matters at all when she suggests such helpful hints as dipping Fuzzy into vinegar or stealing the blanket in the middle of the night. Ultimately it is Owen’s mother who comes up with a solution – on the night before the first day of Kindergarten no less – that will please everyone, even the sour old Mrs. Tweezers! Kudos to Kevin Henkes for illustrating another one of his brilliant picture books that is an instant classic.