(A Security Blanket Story)

by Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes' Owen

A security blanket story for kids...and parents

Children's book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 3-6

Remember Linus's security blanket in Charlie Brown?

Well, little mouse Owen's got one too. But unlike in Charles Schulz's cartoon, parents are the major players in Kevin Henkes' blanket story. And they want to know how to get rid of this thing.

If you've had a kid fixated on a transitional object (that's the fancy term), this story will seem familiar. That thing starts to become a hassle and an embarrassment. But how do you ease it out of a child's life without causing trauma?

text edited, 6 panels from 'Owen'

Nosy next door neighbor Mrs. Tweezers has plenty of advice for Owen's parents. "Haven't you heard of the Blanket Fairy?" she asks.

Owen outsmarts the Blanket Fairy. He wins out against the Vinegar Trick too.

And tension is mounting. Owen is almost old enough for school. Security blankets aren't allowed at school.

Finally, Mrs. Tweezers says what every old school parent is thinking:

Haven't you heard of saying no?

Author-illustrator Henkes editorializes...

Owen's parents hadn't.

Of course "No" results in tears, but then Mom Mouse comes up with a rather ingenious (and final) compromise solution.

Owen, by Kevin Henkes - a security blanket story

Henkes crafts a book as much for parents as children, and I would venture a guess that thousands of moms and dads have come up with fresh solutions for the security blanket problem after reading Owen.

Henkes won a 1994 Caldecott Honor for his gentle and silly pictures of mouse home life, now very familiar with the popularity of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Chrysanthemum.

If it works, Owen, by Kevin Henkes, may become your transitional object!

Another security blanket story at Amazon.

Read more of Steve's reviews.

More Caldecott honorees.

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