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Video review of The Owl & the Pussycat by Edward Lear & illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch


Today, Julie recommends The Owl and the Pussycat, written by Edward Lear and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch – a three-time Governor General’s winner for children’s illustrations. We’re sure most of you know this poem but what makes this particular book special are the illustrations by Jorisch.

This nonsense poem was first published in 1871. Lear wrote it for a three-year-old girl, Janet Symonds, the daughter of poet John Addington Symonds.

The poem’s opening sentence is pure literary gold:

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.

This edition is part of the Visions in Poetry series – an innovative and award-winning series of classic poems reinterpreted for today’s readers by outstanding contemporary artists. Other famous poems that have been paired with current day illustrators in this series include Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, The Lady of Shalott by Lord Tennyson, Casey at the Bat by Ernest L. Thayer and the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.

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Richard Davies

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