Miscellanea and Ephemeron
01/25/2006 Archived Entry: "Graphic Novel Review: Owly: Flying Lessons"
Review by Kathryn Ramage
In this latest all-ages graphic novel in the charming Owly series, Owly and his best friend Wormy see a flying squirrel in the forest one night and, once they figure out what this strange and fast-moving creature is, try to befriend it.
The flying squirrel is of course alarmed at the sight of Owly--owls, after all, naturally feed on small rodents--and it's up to the completely non-threatening invertebrate Wormy to make the first overtures of friendship. Once the two are friends, the squirrel takes Wormy out flying, carrying Wormy on his back as he glides from tree to tree. Eventually, after some literal ups and downs, Owly joins them.
It's not a remarkable storyline, particular where Owly is concerned; the little owl's good heartedness and generosity have led him to win other friends in the same way in earlier stories. What makes this story different from its predecessors is that we learn something about Owly and his past. A flashback takes us to Owly's school days--his Flying 101 class, to be precise--and we discover that Owly flunked out. He couldn't fly because his wings are too stubby. (Andy Runton doesn't go so far, but I found myself wondering if Owly's short-winged flightless state was what made him a lonely little owl in the first place, shunned by his own kind and living as an outcast in the forest). Wormy's "flight" gives him the incentive to try again.
It's a very sweet and inspiring story--but that also is not unusual for Owly.
I was once again impressed by complex conversations the characters have using only pictograms with punctuation (mostly ! and ?), but no written words. Owly's and Wormy's discussion of what they just saw after their first encounter with the flying squirrel, and how they can find out what it was, was especially fun to read.
The Wapshott Press
Ontology on the go!
"Ontology on the Go!"
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