Review Blog

Nov 09 2012

Apollo, the Powerful Owl by Gordon Winch

cover image

Ill. by Stephen Pym. New Frontier Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978 191928294.
(Age: 3+) Picture book. Australian animals. Endangered species. Apollo the owl is upset that he only eats meat and feels that this is the reason he has no friends. He eats the small animals from the forest floor, the possum, sugar glider, flying fox, baby rabbit, magpie and cockatoo. They all fall prey to his sharp beak and powerful claws. He is lonely as these animals all avoid him. He tries other things, the nectar from the flowers, the seeds from the grasses, but to no avail. These things do not satisfy him. He hies off to see the Wise Old Owl and takes his advice. He advises the owl to be true to himself, to do the things he is able to do, to not take the food of others, and be happy with what he is. The Wise Old owl gives him five things to remember, and these could be the basis for much discussion in the classroom.
The illustrations by Pym in this strong hard covered book, are intriguing, and follow the tale of the owl and his quest for enlightenment with interesting detail about the Australian environment and the other animals that live there, paralleling the ethos of the story. A page of information at the end of the story will enlighten the reader about the plight of the Powerful Owl, the biggest in Australia, having a body height of 60 cms and wing span of 140 cms. What a bird!
Fran Knight

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