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THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT by Edward Lear

THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT

By Edward Lear (Author) , Anne Wilson (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8118-3903-6
Publisher: Chronicle

The illustrations are what make this latest edition of Edward Lear’s classic poem about two unlikely lovers worth a second look. Although several editions interpreted by different illustrators exist, there may be room for one more, especially since this poem hasn’t been redone as often as some other childhood chestnuts. The text is Lear’s own, but the collage illustrations provide a modern, textured look that other editions do not. Whimsical colors and patterns awaken the imagination, particularly in the land of the “Bong-trees”; after all, everyone knows what a cat, an owl, and a boat look like, but an illustrator has free reign to portray the imaginary trees any way he or she sees fit. Here, they are suitably fantastic oval shapes growing in pink and red grass, adorned with stylized swirls and leaf patterns in turquoise, purple, red, yellow, and orange. The “Piggy-wig” with the ring in his nose that the owl and pussycat find there is larger than life, covering an entire spread, in bright, bubble-gum pink. Seas are purple, skies are blue, purple, red, or yellow, sometimes adorned with stars in contrasting colors; sand is bright orange. The riotous colors and patterns reflect the joy of the love story and the fun of the nonsense verse, and breathe new life into a classic. (Picture book. 4-7)