Is whimsy a fancy? A caprice? A vagary? A suddenly impulsive and apparently unmotivated idea or action, as a dictionary might define it?
Ms. Fox in purple skirts with two yellow parasols and Mr. Prat, an unlikely mixture of pig and rat, vie with each other as they enact their definitions of “whimsy.” Preposterous ideas abound. Ms.Fox asserts that “whimsy is when I wear a cat for a hat and feed it custard and cream with a silver spoon.” Mr. Prat disagrees: “Sweet Ms. Fox, whimsy is when I wear pink pantaloons and ride a unicycle with my dog Blue.” At one point, Ms. Fox asks Mr. Prat to dance with her “forever by the light of the moon.” Who should be gliding by in a boat in the accompanying double-page spread, but those two well-known characters of comic poetry, the Owl and the Pussy-cat. As their famous forebears did in Lear’s poem, the amusing duo marry and produce an heir with the best qualities of both whimsical creatures. Watercolors in pastel and deeper-toned hues depict the playful creatures and their other friends as they cavort through these pages.
An amusing complement to any illustrated version of the Lear poem. (Picture book. 4-7)