'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Review: The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Verse

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat…

So begins one of my favourite poems. How could anyone resist this tale of romance and adventure and a wedding feast consumed with a runcible spoon?  Originally written in 1867 as a get-well treat for the 3-year-old daughter of a friend, I’m sure Lear never imagined his poem would still be easily recognisable almost 150 years later.

This gorgeous edition of Lear’s classic The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Rhymes has been released to celebrate the bicentenary of Lear’s birth. Including a brief biography of Edward Lear and illustrations by talented Australian illustrator Robert Ingpen, the volume has appeal as a keepsake as well as a wonderful way to introduce children to the delights of nonsense verse.

In addition to other nonsense poems such as The Dong with a Luminous Nose and The Jumblies, the book includes a recipe for Bong-fruit Chutney (you can use green mangoes if you must) and Bong-tree botanical drawings. There is also evidence of Lear’s own considerable skill as an artist with examples of his zoological drawings.

The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Verse is a gorgeous book, beautifully presented and sure to be treasured by readers young and old.

Title:  The Owl and the Pussycat and other Nonsense Rhymes
Author:  Edward Lear
Illustrator: Robert Ingpen
Publisher: Walker Books Australia, $29.95 RRP
Publication Date:  1 July 2012
Format:  Hardcover with dust jacket
ISBN:  9781921977596
For ages:  8+ years
Type: Poetry