Olwen Finds Her Wings

Nora Surojegin; Illustrated by Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • Sensitively explores the feeling of longing to be different and celebrates individuality
  • From mother and daughter team Nora and Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin, creators of Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas
  • Delicate, detailed illustrations of characterful animals and dreamy woodland landscapes support a gentle yet powerful emotional learning message

Olwen the baby owl longs to hop like a hare or roar like a bear, but that's not what owls do. Will Olwen find that what she can do is just as wonderful? This atmospheric picture book encourages us to embrace what makes us special.

287 x 238 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illlustrations
Age Range:
From 3 to 6 years
40 pages
Publication date:
20 May 2021


Olwen the baby owl isn't happy. Sitting on her branch is boring. What else can little owls do?

Olwen longs to be just like hare, squirrel and bear but no matter how hard she tries she can't hop, scamper or roar. That's not what owls do. But the little owl soon discovers that she might be able to do something just as wonderful. Can Olwen find her wings and soar?

This sweet and charming picture book sensitively explores the longing to be different and celebrates embracing what makes us special. With expressive, intricate illustrations and a lively story, mother and daughter team Nora and Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin have created a loveable picture book full of heart.


'Definitely one of the best winter-set picture books of 2021.'
-- Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal

'A hoot of a bedtime treat.'
-- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

'This sweet story follows a little owl who is bored in her nest. She ventures out to try new things. None of which can she do, but her mother finds her and teaches her that she can do something special as well. The illustrations of this adorable owl tugged at my heartstrings right along with the story.'
-- Youth Services Book Review, 5 stars

'There are some wonderful snowy scenes in this book, a perfect winter picture book!
This is a funny and light hearted story with some incredibly cute and detailed
animal illustrations, young animal enthusiasts will find this a very endearing tale with just that little bit of danger and a happy ending!'
-- Kaleidoscope Magazine

'This is a lovely story by a Finnish mother and daughter team who wrote and illustrated Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas. The illustrations are soft and gentle and the story is very sweet and simple.'
-- Kindling

'A gentle and charming wintery picture book about embracing our strengths and being ourselves.'
-- LittleLibraryOwl, Instagram

Praise for Nora and Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin:

'The illustrations are beyond marvelous.'
-- Youth Services Book Review on Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas

'Manages to be rewarding and will give young readers/listeners a lot to think about during a holiday that is often so commercialized.'
-- Kirkus Reviews on Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas

'Reading Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas aloud is absolutely charming; the authors use wonderful, poetic language. Hearing the story of Otto and his new friends you can almost feel the snow crunching under your shoes and hear the wind howling in the tree tops.'
-- The Reading Castle

'Thoughtful, detailed illustrations on almost every page make this story an ideal read for the child who wants to settle in a corner with a captivating book.'
-- Carousel on Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas

'The soft, intricate, glowing illustrations added so much to my appreciation of the story. I enjoyed the richness of the language. The descriptions of the forest, scenery, and characters are absolutely magical. I can imagine parents and children cuddled up, drinking hot chocolate and reading this book together.'
-- Oregon Coast Youth Book Review on Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas


Nora Surojegin is an author, illustrator and graphic designer from Finland. She lives by the sea in Espoo, where she enjoys creating imaginative worlds. Her books have been translated into several languages. Nora created Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas (Floris Books) in collaboration with her mother, Pirkko-Liisa.

Pirkko-Liisa Surojegin is a well-known Finnish illustrator, renowned for her delicate, detailed portrayals of Finland's wildlife and folklore. She graduated in 1977 from Helsinki University of Art and Design and has since illustrated many books loved by children and adults. She is the illustrator of Otto and the Secret Light of Christmas, co-created with her daughter Nora, and An Illustrated Kalevala, both published by Floris Books.

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