Greta the Great Horned Owl
Greta the Great Horned Owl is Christie Gove-Berg’s third wildlife rescue book. Today she shares with us why her third book is about an owl.
My first book featured an eagle and my second book featured a peregrine falcon. When I talked with Amanda, the wildlife educator at the Wildlife Center of Virginia, about the possibility for another collaboration, we both immediately felt that it needed to be an owl story.
Owls hold a special place in people’s hearts. They seem mysterious, almost magical, and their calls intrigue and inspire us. Amanda proposed that we choose a Great Horned Owl because their tall ear tufts and deep hoot are iconic and recognizable. In addition, their range is the greatest of any North American Owl, so it is possible for Greta’s readers to see a real Great Horned Owl in their area.
We wanted this third story to have a “happy” ending, meaning that the owl is released back into the wild at the end of her rehabilitation journey. Greta the Great Horned Owl is a classic human/owl injury story because she is hit by a moving object. Owls are often hit by cars because they hunt at night and they often hunt by the roadside. We thought the train impact was an interesting twist that would appeal to kids. The image of the train impact is one of my favorite pages in the book.
For me, one of the neatest parts of the Greta the Great Horned Owl story is “mouse school.” Owls, like other raptors, have to be able to hunt in order to be successful in the wild. Their eyesight, hearing, and silent flight are crucial to their success. So, in “mouse school,” the staff put a tub of live mice in Greta’s enclosure to see if she could hunt. If she could catch mice, it was likely that she would survive in the wild. You’ll have to read the book to find out how she did!
Greta the Great Horned Owl will be released in April 2019, and a portion of the proceeds from the book’s sales will be donated back to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.