Remarkable Reissues!

There was an Old Man of the Hague,

Whose ideas were excessively vague;

He built a balloon, to examine the moon,

That deluded Old Man of the Hague.

Who doesn’t enjoy a witty Limerick? This winter Master of Limericks, Edward Lear is celebrated by a number of publishers. His work is recreated accompanied by stunning illustrations in a range of books; perfect for poetry lovers, and a fantastic way to introduce new readers to his hilarious and slightly bonkers verse. Puffin has released not one, but two books about Lear’s well-known and well-loved couple: The Owl and the Pussycat and The Future Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat. Fans of Julia Donaldson will be thrilled with her retelling of this classic love story and will enjoy hearing about what happened next in their future adventures. Charlotte Voake’s charming illustrations capture Lear’s characters perfectly.

Faber Classic’s has reissued Edward Lear’s Nonsense Limericks in a new gift edition hardback with delightful cartoon-type illustrations. Lovers of Lear’s nonsense verse will enjoy flicking through the pages of bizarre limericks, illustrated by renowned cartoonist Arthur Robins.

Faber has excelled this year with two other fantastic reissues of classics. Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot will make a perfect gift (not just for Christmas). The real gem here is that the original artist, Nicolas Bentley’s illustrations have been lovingly restored in this much-loved collection. Macavity, Mr Mistoffelees and Bustopher Jones are all brought to life. Just turn the colourful pages to find them prowling, prancing and causing mischief!

Sylvia Plath’s stories for younger readers The It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit and other stories were written for her children. Better known for her poetry and writings for adults, Plath’s collection of children’s stories and poems are witty, lively and full of energy. This reissue is vibrantly packaged in a mustard-yellow paperback, and illustrated by David Roberts, described as ‘incomparable’. (His work reminds me slightly of Edward Gorey, but I’m not comparing, just admiring!)

Some yuletide reissue books deserve a mention here: Orion’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, and Walker’s A Christmas Carol retold and illustrated by Marcia Williams. Orion celebrates Dylan Thomas’s centenary with two special editions: a hardback, illustrated by Peter Bailey and a mini hardback illustrated by award-winning artist Edward Ardizzone. Marcia Williams creates a fantastic Ebenezer Scrooge in both mediums. ‘A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!’

On that happy note, see below for our competition time.  Please tune in for more yuletide cheer shortly …

To win a copy of the hardback edition of A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas and illustrated by Peter Bailey, please answer the following question and email it to me: sine@childrensbooksireland.ie. (The first correct answer will receive a copy of the book. Please include the answer in the subject line of the email. Please provide your name and address.)

Where and when was Dylan Thomas born (year and place)?