The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
Today is Valentine’s Day, so we are reading… a wonderful version of The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear, illustrated by Kevin Waldron with additional verse by Angela McAllister (Koala Books, 2009).
This lilting, joyful poem is a celebration of romantic love. The Owl and the Pussycat embark on a journey with only some honey, some money and their love for each other to sustain them. There is song, dance (on the shore in the moonlight no less!), food, a wedding… and now, thanks to the addition of a new verse, there are owl/pussycat babies as well.
Why Leola loves it…
Like generations of children before her, Leola loves rhyming verses and knows The Owl and the Pussycat almost by heart. She loves this version with its vibrant and gloriously detailed illustrations. Her favourite thing to look for is the piggy-wig skilfully balancing a shilling on the end of his nose, his nose, his nose. (Of course it’s the shilling he received in exchange for his nose ring, so his nose must seem like the logical place to keep it!)
Why I love it…
I adore Kevin Waldron’s striking illustrations, which are whimsical, colourful, full of quirky details, a little bit retro and really, really cool. I want them on my walls. You can view his folio here. He hails from Dublin and there is a nice picture of him here which I thought I should share, it being Valentine’s Day and all! 😉
The new verse is lovely and in keeping with the style of the original poem. I could certainly imagine Edward Lear using the word “rumbustifus” to describe the owl/pussycat babies at play. You can read Lear’s unfinished posthumous work The Children of the Owl and the Pussycat here and see for yourself that the babies were meant to be!