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The Owl and the Pussycat

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  6,089 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Edward Lear's beloved poem has charmed readers since it was first published in 1871. Now the adventure of these two unlikely sweethearts has been paired with vibrant paper-collage illustrations by Anne Wilson. Her colorful art creates a whimsical backdrop for Owl's romantic pursuit of Pussycat. The Owl and the Pussycat will delight children and adults and show a new genera ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Chronicle Books (first published 1871)
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The Owl and the Pussycat and other nonsense is a book of Edward Lear's eccentric and unique comic verse, published in 2012 to celebrate the bicentenary of the author's birth. It is lavishly illustrated with watercolour paintings by the Australian artist, Robert Ingpen. This is a happy combination, as Ingpen's depictions, based on Australian flora, seem to be a perfect fit for Lear's imagined Bong-tree Land.

Edward Lear was one of 20 children. He suffered from epilepsy, and had a very unhappy chi
Apr 30, 2012 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read Miss Smith Under the Ocean, which references a lot of classic tales. Our oldest was intrigued by the mention of the poem of "The Owl and the Pussycat", so I borrowed a couple of different picture-book versions of this classic poem so she could hear the whole thing.

This version has colorful mixed-media illustrations that are very expressive and abstract. It's very different from Jan Brett's illustrated version of the poem, and we enjoyed comparing the two books. Later on, we rea
I read the version with the illustrations by Wendy Straw and yes, it is a children's book.

Ricky Gervais spiked my interest when he quoted the line "In a beautiful pea-green boat:" referring to one of Karl Pilkington's ramblings that fuse reality with fantasy.
It sounded to me like this story should be common knowledge. I looked up the book and author and decided I wanted to know more. As I am a fan of Spike Milligan I found that Edward Lear is right up my alley.
The Owl And The Pussycat is a ro
Sarah Barrington
The Owl and the Pussycat is a classic nonsense poem by Edward Lear, and has long been one of my favourite books since I was a young child. There are many versions of the poem with different illustrations, but they are always beautiful to look at and really engaging for young readers. The poem is a love story between two anthropomorphic characters, the owl and the pussycat, and follows them as they get engaged and search for a ring. We meet various other silly characters throughout the poem, and ...more
Mar 02, 2008 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids age 2 and up, owl-n-pussycat lovers
Jan Brett's Caribbean-inspired illustrations for the classic Edward Lear poem are teeming with life, and the effect is stunning. The colors, textures, and shapes are a visual treat. Each page also has a different pattern of "straw" border, adorned with a different tropical flower.

The pictures overflow with detail, to the point where there's even a sub-story (pardon the pun) involving two yellow fish.

I didn't give it the full 5 stars because the way the text is broken up across spreads makes it d
Esther Barajikian
"The Owl and the Pussycat" is a classic poem written by Edward Leer that was first published in the 19th century. This book, illustrated by Anne Wilson presents the love story of two unlikely lovers in a charming and whimsical way. Combining several different techniques, her use of brilliant colors, creative lines and surrealistic images carries the reader into a wonderful make-believe world by means of a beautiful pea-green boat.

The author use of rhyming couplets, simple rhythm, and patterned
Thom Dunn
I recall the first time I saw a runcible spoon and nearly fainted with nostalgia, remembering my mother's reading of this to me from MY BOOK HOUSE. Thanks again, Mom.
‘The Owl and the Pussy Cat’ is the much loved children’s classic written by Edward Lear and the version I found in my library contains updated illustrations by Louise Voce. It follows the whimsical journey of the eponymous duo as they set to sea, get engaged and search for a ring.

The nonsense poetry has some lovely lines although some of the language has certainly dated and could be considered a tad risqué these days (“Oh lovely pussy” etc) however its main audience is unlikely to be aware of an
I should probably start a shelf called Children's Books That Are Not Good for Children. This is one of those books I would ut on that shelf. I find Lear's rhymes to be very strange. These have a very nice sound to them but I think they are inaccessible. I remember feeling the same way about Alice In Wonderland as a child. But I suppose different children feel differently so it would be better to expose them to things and let them make their own decisions. As an adult I enjoy the oddity. Dale Max ...more
There are many illustrated version of Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat -- some are so breathtakingly gorgeous but lack the silliness of this story, some are cartoony and have no depth, and some are so deep they tread some very disturbing waters -- so far, though, this is my favorite version.

Jan Brett's illustrations, as always are colorful, well-rendered and quite lovely; and, as usual, somewhat jarring. That's what makes them so perfect for Edward Lear. Edward Lear's writings fall somewhe
Shanna Gonzalez
Edward Lear's classic rhyme comes to sparking life in Jan Brett's lively and original interpretation. It opens with a charming scene with Pussycat's parents looking on fondly, while Owl kneels before her, she regarding him with an enigmatic look. The courtship proceeds over glassy seas with idyllic views above and below water, and even children who are romantic nature of the story will wish they could visit "the place where the bong-tree grows."

Brett's illustrations are lush, vibrant, and rich i
A wonderful read from my childhood, one I’d certainly suggest for other youngsters. Whilst it is not my all-time favourite childhood read I can still recall all the details of this one meaning it certainly left a lasting impression upon my young mind.

And isn’t that what we want with children’s books, for them to leave a positive lasting impression?
Henry Martin
I'm giving this one three stars, but mostly because of the huge wow factor. The illustrations are so vivid and the poem so surreal, that the first thing that came to mind is a LSD trip.

The kids seem to love it though.

I had never read this book before we read it to my son. It is an odd book.

Owls and pussycats together, in love and taking to water in a boat. Then there is this stanza:
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

And then,
"They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows..."

where one expects they may meet Cheech and Chong, but no,
"...there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose
It's impossible to tell here, but the specific edition I'm reviewing is The Owl & the Pussy-Cat & Other Nonsense by Edward Lear, with illustrations by Owen Wood (1978, Viking Press). It includes eight short verses by Lear in addition to TO&tPC. Wood's intricate illustrations are gorgeous, and invite return visits, as I have done many a time over the years. This was one of the books that my parents kept on their shelves, and I'm glad they did - it survived where some of our other chil ...more
Hester Enthoven
The Owl and the Pussycat set out to sea in a "beautiful pea-green boat", they take "some honey, and plenty of money, wrapped up in a five-pound note." This is a short story (well poem in fact) in which the owl serenades the Pussycat, they fall in love, sail "away for a year and a day" until their adventure takes them to to the "land where to Bong Tree grows". It is here they are married "by the turkey who lives on the hill."

The Owl and the Pussycat is written in nonsense verse so uses rhyme and
This book is about an owl and a cat who are in love and they go on a journey together across the sea to get married. This book would be great for teaching poetry and different styles of writing. I personally love this book because I read it when I was in kindergarten to a group of students at my school. We had a program "read to succeed" and I had my picture in the newspaper reading to children older than me.
So, I bought this at a used bookstore, because the pictures were absolutely beautiful. I suppose this is why I should learn to prescreen the books I buy my daughter. When reading this one, neither me nor my daughter were very impressed. I almost put it down to start a new one, because of how squirrely she started to get (she's two) but I finished it. It's not a horrible book, but it's just a meh one. I'm happy I didn't buy it new. Though I make a point to only buy books I have previously read wh ...more
I love this poem. What I love even more in this particular book, are the illustrations. I've read this to both of my children, over and over and over. An all time classic and just gorgeous pictures.
Jeanne O'Hara
Genre: poetry

This book, a nonsense poem by Edward Lear, is illustrated by Jan Brett. Brett's illustrations bring this colorful poem to life.

This was a favorite in our house. My husband loved this poem--his father had read it to him and his siblings when he was a child. When I found this version with the beautiful pictures, it quickly became a nightly ritual. Our children could recite the lines with him, and could recite the lines just from looking at the pictures.

I would use this as a read alou
Stephane Jorisch, amazing illustrations.
Canadian Children's Book Centre
Once again the Kids Can Press Visions in Poetry series offers a stunning book. First published in 1871, The Owl and the Pussycat is one of Edward Lear’s most famous nonsense poems. It is a charming tale of love between two anthropomorphized animals: an owl and a cat. The poem features fantastical creatures such as a “piggy wig,” and made up objects such as the “runcible spoon.” Such creations are ripe for imaginative interpretations and the poem has indeed been illustrated, animated and set to m ...more
May 25, 2012 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read Miss Smith Under the Ocean, which references a lot of classic tales. Our oldest was intrigued by the mention of the poem of "The Owl and the Pussycat", so I borrowed a few different picture-book versions of this classic poem so she could hear the whole thing.

We first read classic versions of the poem illustrated by Anne Wilson and Jan Brett. Then we discovered this book and borrowed it from our local library, too.

This version has gorgeous illustrations and a bit of an expanded
Apr 29, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We recently read Miss Smith Under the Ocean, which references a lot of classic tales. Our oldest was intrigued by the mention of the poem of "The Owl and the Pussycat", so I borrowed a couple of different picture-book versions of this classic poem so she could hear the whole thing.

We first read Anne Wilson's illustrated version of the poem first and then we read this one. Both were very different renditions of the same story and we enjoyed discussing the differences in the illustrations. Later
Sarah Sammis
The Owl and the Pussycat illustrated by Anne Mortimer is among Edward Lear's best known nonsense poems. It's also a family favorite, one we recite on a semi-regular basis. It's perfect for a family of owl and cat lovers. The owl and pussycat go on a long sea journey in their pea green boat. After sailing the world for a year and a day they decide to get married.

It includes elements listed as children's preferences in The Essentials of Children's Literature (Lynch-Brown, Tomlinson & Short, 20
Julia Brumfield
A beautifully illustrated book to go with the interesting silly poem of Edward Lear.

The poem is short, simple to read and simple to follow for any child. It can be considered a starter poem for children while it isn't that silly to turn away adults.

The main focus of this book is the illustrations done by fellow artist Jan Brett who is well known for her homey touches and beautiful details. The same details are brought to life in this book while removing from the snowy stretches to the sunny
The was one of my favourite stories as a child, as it evokes beautiful images of sailing on the sea in a little boat. The rhythm and metre of the poem is notable, and can be tapped out by the reader. Considered a ‘nonsense poem, some words are inventions of Lear such the adjective ‘runcible’. The illustrations are really lovely, and the title characters are complimenting each other and so devoted that they sail for ‘a year and a day’ to find a ring to get married. They find a ‘piggy wig’ who has ...more
Ill have to be honest here. I read this a couple years ago and that was probably in gr. 5. I absolutely loved this book a lot because I loved to read poetry when I was younger but now I am not that much into it. Anyway... This book was my favourite and it was a book someone gave to me and I just loved. It's amazing book that I think parents should read to their kids because I absolute loved it when I was a kid!
Meg McGregor
An absolutely enchanting version of one of Edward Lear's best-loved children's poem.

The owl and the pussycat are in love and sail off together. They meet very interesting characters along the way and decide to get married.

A simple story but so beautifully brought to life by Jan Brett. She is, in my opinion, one of the best illustrators ever!

The Owl and The Pussy Cat

Grade K-3

The illustrations done by Jan Bret are both animated and realistic in appearance. Bret uses lots of color, particularly lots of aqua blues and greens. The illustrations are large and detailed and the text is minimal. Lear’s use of rhythm and rhyme to tell this humorous romantic story between the owl and the pussycat will appeal to children’s sense of imagination. Children will like the colorful illustrations, the sound of the poem and the story because it is sho
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The Owl and the Pussycat 3 7 Nov 13, 2014 11:19AM  
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Edward Lear was an English artist, illustrator and writer known for his literary nonsense, in poetry and prose, and especially his limericks, a form which he popularized.

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More about Edward Lear...

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“And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.”
“They dined on mince, and slices of quince
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.”
More quotes…