The Owl and the Pussy-cat sailed away In a beautiful blue balloon . . . Gruffalo author, Julia Donaldson, revisits Edward Lear’s favourite rhyme in this wonderful new story set in a nonsensical land full of adventure. When their beautiful golden ring is stolen, the Owl and the Pussy-cat must travel far from the safety of the Bong-tree glade as their search for the thief leads them across the Sea, to the Chankly Bore and beyond…
I for one didn’t know there were further adventures of the owl and the pussycat but I am delighted to discover that there are. The book is written by Julia Donaldson and what she has done is carried on the poem by Edward Lear and shown us what the newlyweds are up to.
Donaldson’s rhyme reads as well as Lear’s original, so much so it’s possible to carry on from one to the other. The narrative is as quirky and nonsense as Lear’s was, but still with a solid base storyline to drive it. I loved that Donaldson uses the same repetition and big, obscure words, and there are cameos from previous friends and familiar moments from the first poem.
The premise of the story is that the ring that wed the pair has been stolen and the owl and the pussycat go off in search of it to bring it home. While I understand people may see it as unnecessary, I quite liked the story. Donaldson has stayed close to Lear’s work and retained the nonsensical nature and style so it doesn’t feel completely misguided or unconnected.
Charlotte Voake’s illustrations suit the story well, they are just enough detail and the right design for the nonsense nature of the words. They are slightly different to those in Lear’s poem, but that doesn’t impact the story at all considering Lear’s art isn’t the thing most memorable about it.
If you liked the first poem you may or may not enjoy this. You would need to know the first poem though to really understand this, but it is quirky and fun and the strangeness appeals to kids and isn’t too silly for it to be totally absurd.
You can purchase The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat via the following