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The Owl and the Pussycat    by Edward Lear & Anne Mortimer order for
Owl and the Pussycat
by Edward Lear
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Who hasn't heard Edward Lear's delightfully nonsensical poem, The Owl and the Pussycat? It's presented here, accompanied by lifelike illustrations of all the creatures - including the feline and avian snuggled together - and with fantastical backgrounds that match the whimsy in Lear's verses.

I especially liked the image of the owl with one wing up to fend off bees and a pussycat satiated on honey (eyes closed, licking her chops) that goes with: 'They took some honey, / And plenty of money, / Wrapped up in a / five-pound note.' Kids and adults will love identifying the details, like a pair of seals winking at each other as Owl serenades his beloved, or the ring that's hard to spot at the end of the Piggywig's nose.

At the back of this remarkable book, we're told that 'The illustrator will donate a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Self Heal Association, a registered charity based in the U.K. that works with the arts, therapy, and mental health.' Which is just another good reason to acquire this beautifully illustrated picture book.

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