Apollo the Powerful Owl finished his supper and thought, ‘I must change my diet. All I do is eat … eat … eat nothing by meat … meat… meat for every meal.’
Apollo has a moment of introspection and decides that it’s time to change his life. No more will he eat, eat, eat. No more will he frighten all the other forest occupants. And perhaps then he won’t be so lonely. So, day by day, he alters his diet and, he hopes, his life and position in the forest. But no matter how he tries, instead of improving his lot, his efforts seem to make him feel worse and worse. Finally he seeks counsel from a wise old owl. Only then does his role and his life make sense. Illustrations are full page and include many other forest dwellers. An information page at the end of the story provides more details about this threatened species.
Apollo wants to be more like the other animals in the forest and perhaps then they will be his friends. But it’s not as easy as that and Apollo discovers that he has a role to play in the ecosystem and that there are other ways and other places to seek friendship. It is a story about being yourself as well as discovering that everyone has a role to play in the world. There is opportunity to use this story in a classroom to introduce an Australian animal, an Australian environment, discuss food chains and ecosystems. Readers will empathise with Apollo and his need for companionship and will celebrate with him at the story’s conclusion/solution. Recommended for pre- and early-readers.
Apollo the Powerful Owl, Gordon Winch ill Stephen Pym
New Frontier Publishing 2012 ISBN: 9781921928284
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
Available from good bookstores or online.