cover image The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat

The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat

Julia Donaldson, illus. by Charlotte Voake. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9081-6

At the close of Edward Lear’s classic poem, first published some 145 years ago, the Owl and Pussy-cat were newly married and dancing to the light of the moon. But what happened next? Donaldson (The Gruffalo) picks up in the immediate aftermath of that tale as a crow makes off with the Pussy-cat’s ring. The two give chase “in a beautiful blue balloon,” and Donaldson seeds their travels with references to nonsense places and creatures (the Chankly Bore, the Jelly Bo Lee) from other Lear poems; indeed, the cat’s ring winds up with none other than the Pobble Who Has No Toes. Donaldson’s graceful rhymes and rhythms are respectfully true to Lear’s original, and Voake’s wispy ink-and-watercolor artwork strikes a similarly fine balance between honoring Lear’s illustrations while bringing new life to this ever-charming pair of lovers. Ages 3–7. (Jan.)