Well over a hundred years since they first appeared in print, who better to continue the tale of that infamous pair who sailed away in a pea-green boat, promised their lives to each other and whom we last saw dancing on the sand by the light of the moon, than the former UK Children’s Laureate and author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson? In this sequel to Edward Lear’s classic nonsense poem, Donaldson lends her considerable lyrical talents to the task of continuing the story of the owl and the pussycat, the plot of which involves the theft of their wedding band, some more travels to wonderful and bizarrely named new places and the introduction of some suitably Lear-ian new characters.
Donaldson is a self-proclaimed fan of Edward Lear’s work, and with this new text, she deftly manages to pay tribute to the essence of Lear’s nonsense legacy, and still have plenty of her own fun with delightfully silly new rhymes. There are a number of references to Lear’s other works, with the Jumblies and even the Dong with the luminous nose making appearances before the end. Charlotte Voake’s illustrations, in watercolour with delicate black ink outlines, complement the text beautifully, and there’s a definite nod to Lear’s own drawing style in the Pobble’s wild and untamed hair, and his aunt’s 19th-century gown and bonnet ensemble.
This book makes a lovely addition to the genre of nonsense poetry and will delight children and adult fans of both Lear and Donaldson alike.