The Happy Owls - Celestino Piatti

NorthSouth Books


The Happy Owls by Celestino Piatti / ISBN 9780735844834 / 32-page hardcover from NorthSouth Books / a nice 2022 reprint of a 1963 classic.


A beautiful, classic addition to the family bookshelf—with beloved Swiss designer, Celestino Piatti’s fun and retro illustrations!

This classic fable about enjoying the miracle of everyday life, first illustrated by Celestino Piatti in 1963, is being reissued in celebration of Piatti’s distinctive artwork. Known for his innovative use of fonts, Piatti once said, “You can draw an owl a thousand times, and never find out its secret.”

Why are these owls so happy? That’s just what the chickens, ducks, and geese want to know. But when they send a peacock over to find out why, they’re incredulous at the reply. How could anyone be happy simply to see the rain and sunshine? What could be so joyful about the flowers and butterflies?

“Every imaginative child will cherish this rare and beautiful book.”—New York Times Book Review

“It should be two stars-- one for each eye. The use of brilliant color is beyond simple description-- it's an eye-fest.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Celestino Piatti (1922–2007) was a Swiss graphic artist, painter, and book designer, born in Wangen near Zurich, Switzerland. The trained graphic artist was a popular illustrator of children’s books and gained international fame thanks to the more than 6,300 book titles that he designed for Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (DTV) from 1961 onwards. Piatti also designed posters, postage stamps, stained glass, murals, and iron sculptures, and he worked as a writer and caricaturist. His work has received several awards. Although he used a wide variety of techniques, his style—black outlines and vivid colors—was always unmistakable.

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