The Owl Who Came for Christmas by John Hay Review

illustrated by Garry Parsons


Christmas time means different things to people, whether that’s for religious reasons, giving/receiving presents, goodwill and helping others, family gatherings etc. and also books, lots of books, lots of Christmas themed books. Lots of books is a good thing, especially for me as I just love books and reading, and this year I have been reading a children’s Christmas-themed picture book inspired by a true story, the story of Rosie the owl.

Christmas is coming, and the decorations are going up… But one family is about to discover an unexpected visitor snuggled up in their Christmas tree… A little owl called Rosie!

Rosie the Eastern Screech Owl, is a tiny owl about the size of a robin. After a successful night of hunting for food she returns to the comfort of her fir tree and goes to sleep. But she wakes up to a lot of noise in the forest, her fir tree is being cut down! Frightened she tightly huddles up in the tree. Before she knows it, the tree is encased in netting leaving her trapped inside.

The tree is then put on to a lorry and taken away. As it’s Christmas, and the fir tree is of course a Christmas tree, a family buys the tree and takes it home where they promptly decorate it, unaware of their Christmas visitor. That is, until a 10 year old girl discovers their new camouflaged guest popping out from the tree every now and again. A shock and a delight, but what will they  do?

What will become of Rosie, the tiny owl?

Overall, The Owl Who Came for Christmas is a charming and heart-warming tale about an owl who accidentally gets removed from her home in the forest to the confines of a family home. And, better still, it is based on the true story of Rosie the owl and her journey.

This charming Christmas children’s picture book delightfully tells the story of how Rosie ended up living in a Christmas tree in a family home and how she was released back into the natural world where she belongs.

The book is inspired by the true story of an American family who found the owl living in their Christmas tree and their efforts to release her back to the wild, with the help and guidance of a nature centre. The story by John Hay is beautifully told and the illustrations by Garry Parsons are excellent, bright and vivid and really convey the story to young readers.

Despite the sadness of Rosie’s home being cut down, The Owl Who Came for Christmas is a charming story with a happy ending and is great for helping to talk to children about nature, animal habitats and conservation.

Whilst it is not a story that features Santa Claus and present giving, it is an endearing and charming story about a very special gift.

The story has plenty of facts about owls and once you have reading it, it has the real story of Rosie the owl at the back of the book.

A charming Christmas animal tale that was inspired by real events and a story that children will adore.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £6.99 (Paperback) / £3.99 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are my own. This review uses an affiliate link which I may receive a small commission from if you purchase through the link.