The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

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Lear's nonsense classic about the unlikely romance between a pussycat and an owl.

After a courtship voyage of a year and a day, Owl and Pussy finally buy a ring from Piggy and are blissfully married.

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This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous owner's name, ... some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support! Read more Show Less

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King Harold 1974 Hardcover Good+ Book *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to ... return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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The Owl and the Pussycat

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Overview

Lear's nonsense classic about the unlikely romance between a pussycat and an owl.

After a courtship voyage of a year and a day, Owl and Pussy finally buy a ring from Piggy and are blissfully married.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book Magazine
Lear's pea-green boat sails again, this time with the inimitable James Marshall at the helm. Envisioned as the S.S. Dorabella, this cruise ship will escort the Owl and his fianc‚e, the profoundly clothes-conscious Pussycat, from Pier 23, laden with suitcases marked for ports of call around the world. On calm seas, tuxedoed Owl serenades the flapper-inspired Pussycat seated in her deck chair; in rougher waters, Owl braves the weather to photograph his windblown beloved. Owl and Pussycat join the legion of goofy original Marshall creations: in their grass skirts and leis, the exaggerated portly twosome (he with his signature wide-owl eyes; she with coy looks and rouge-dotted cheeks) highstep it by the light of the moon. At his wacky best, watercolorist Marshall limns a huge priestly turkey, all seriousness with his pince-nez glasses and preposterous wattle; outfitted with a regal purple headdress and matching scarf, the extravagant turkey marries the dapper couple. Lear's famous poem, here calligraphed in white and black crayon, receives an irreverent, gently playful rendition. In a deeply personal afterword, dear friend Maurice Sendak pays homage to Marshall, who shared with him the "sketches" that became Marshall's final largess to his devoted following. Sendak is exactly right when he pronounces that, with this last book, Marshall's "charming slap-happiness [is] now wed to an odd poignancy that conjure[s] a sweet new essence."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hague gives free rein to dark whimsy in this eclectic sampling of Lear's verse, which includes such favorites as the title poem as well as "The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo," "The Cummerbund" and a host of limericks. Lear's menagerie of odd creatures and peculiar persons (e.g., the "Young Lady whose eyes/ Were unique as to color and size") provide rich material for Hague to work with, and he exploits it with robust comic grotesqueries. Saturated earth tones mix with fiery flashes of red and orange in a combination that's instantly identifiable as pure Hague, as is the profusion of detail. Ending, tongue firmly in cheek, with the limerick "There Was an Old Man of the Hague," the artist includes what just might be a sly self-portrait. Ages 5-8. (Nov.)
Publishers Weekly
The blissful pairing of the owl and the pussycat isn't the only marriage made in heaven here-Wilson's (The Beautiful World that God Made) punchy collage art proves an exuberant partner to Lear's classic nonsense verse. Combining patterned papers printed with rich inks, the artist concocts a beguilingly off-kilter setting that, like the text, up-ends convention. The starring characters have a surface simplicity, but in fact each is highly stylized. Bronze and copper circles and curves adorn the paper from which Pussy is cut, while Owl is more complicated: gold squiggles thinly drawn on orange suggest the feathers for his head and wings, an orange oval printed with an open-weave-type design creates the texture on his breast and his face is a streamlined assemblage of simple solid shapes. However elaborate the components, the illustrations are remarkably harmonious, unified by subtly geometric motifs. When, for instance, the loving couple sails away, "for a year and a day," Wilson shows the two in their peapod-like craft ascending a circular horizon; the half-oval of sea they cross to reach "the land where the Bong-tree grows" is echoed in the ovoid shapes of those trees, each of which boasts detailed, bright designs. Elsewhere, curved lines of type reinforce the structure of the composition. Witty, fresh and rhythmic, Wilson's illustrations mirror Lear's whimsy and capture his musicality. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From The Critics
"Galdone uses his imagination to extend Lear's ideas, creating a memorable version suitable for the youngest."
Children's Literature
Edward Lear (1812-1888) was an artist, traveler, and nonsense poet who also gave drawing lessons to Queen Victoria. Maybe it was being the youngest of twenty children, or perhaps it was his epilepsy—but he had a way with getting into the dreamscape of minds, young and old. From the moment his ardent swain, the owl, takes his beloved pussycat to sea in a pea-green boat, the reader, too, is in love. Anne Wilson's interpretation of Lear's most famous poem does justice to it. Combining paper collage with mixed colors and extraordinary printing techniques, she brings every double-page spread to vibrant life. "What a beautiful pussy you are!" has the fabulous feline preening in a field of stars. And "the elegant fowl" is as masterfully robust and wide-eyed as any Victorian gentleman could be who has cast caution to the winds with his ladylove. As for that "runcible spoon"—well, it's not a spoon at all, but a three-pronged fork of Lear's invention. How nice of the man to have bequeathed us not only his poem, but an adjective that's really worth getting your teeth around. 2003, Chronicle, Ages all.
— Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-With this collection of 24 limericks and poems, Hague joins scores of other illustrators who have interpreted the poet's comic vision. Unfortunately, his busy and carefully autographed paintings, whose dark tones and stylized people and landscapes echo the styles of illustrators like N. C. Wyeth and Arthur Rackham, seem too ponderous for Lear's dancing rhymes. The illustration for "There Was a Young Lady whose Eyes" is more grotesque than funny; the image of a young boy wrapped in a turban that accompanies "The Cummerbund" evokes racial stereotypes. These poems and limericks cry for the light touch of someone like Fred Marcellino (The Pelican Chorus and Other Nonsense [HarperCollins, 1995]).Kathleen Whalin, Greenwich Country Day School, CT
School Library Journal
PreS Up-While many library shelves are already populated by lush editions of Lear's classic poem, a fresh treatment of a time-proven favorite is always welcome. Wilson's mixed-media paintings sing with bright colors, and her abstract shapes capture the joy in Lear's nonsense. Like the experiences of the owl and the cat themselves, this edition is an exuberant celebration of the improbable in life-Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Carolyn Phelan
Illustrated in full color, this poetry collection includes 18 examples of nonsense verse by two masters of the form, Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. Carroll's poems include selections from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass", such as "Jabberwocky," "The Walrus and the Carpenter," and "The Mock Turtle's Song," while Lear's famous Quangle Wangle, Jumblies, Dong, and Pobble make their expected appearances, along with the owl and the pussycat and some less familiar characters. The combination of writers works very well, though the illustrations won't please everyone. Aside from the vexing question of whether these poems should be illustrated at all--the artist's vision of the Jabberwock "will" preempt the child's imagining his or her own Jabberwock--the superreal, occasionally surrealistic, mannered style of Palin's full-color artwork, however deftly drawn, tends to overwhelm the verse. Larger libraries may want this on hand for those who like their nonsense illustrated and their illustrations polished.
Shelley Townsend-Hudson
Hague offers an assortment of selections from Edward Lear's immortal compendium of nonsense, still as absurd and extravagant as ever. Among the poems are "The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo," "Calico Pie," and "The Duck and the Kangaroo," as well as a generous sampling of limericks. The task of illustrating Lear's poems would be daunting for any artist thanks to Lear's own inimitable sketches, but Hague's quaintly antiquated style fills the bill, and his trademark use of lavishly dark and murky colors, which can easily overwhelm certain subjects, is well matched to the words here. Hague plays off the sensual and grotesque elements of the poetry and uses rich texture and imagination to extend the text's foolishness. This is a worthy collection, as zany today as it was when Victorian critic John Ruskin first included it in his list of the best hundred books ever written.
Kirkus Reviews
The illustrations are what make this latest edition of Edward Lear's classic poem about two unlikely lovers worth a second look. Although several editions interpreted by different illustrators exist, there may be room for one more, especially since this poem hasn't been redone as often as some other childhood chestnuts. The text is Lear's own, but the collage illustrations provide a modern, textured look that other editions do not. Whimsical colors and patterns awaken the imagination, particularly in the land of the "Bong-trees"; after all, everyone knows what a cat, an owl, and a boat look like, but an illustrator has free reign to portray the imaginary trees any way he or she sees fit. Here, they are suitably fantastic oval shapes growing in pink and red grass, adorned with stylized swirls and leaf patterns in turquoise, purple, red, yellow, and orange. The "Piggy-wig" with the ring in his nose that the owl and pussycat find there is larger than life, covering an entire spread, in bright, bubble-gum pink. Seas are purple, skies are blue, purple, red, or yellow, sometimes adorned with stars in contrasting colors; sand is bright orange. The riotous colors and patterns reflect the joy of the love story and the fun of the nonsense verse, and breathe new life into a classic. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780723218104
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1975
  • Pages: 24
  • Product dimensions: 20.00 (w) x 20.00 (h) x 20.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2012

    Wonderfully Whimsical ! Great Illustrations !

    This is a delightful visual twist on the original poem... There are lots of new things to discover in addition to the well loved characters. Thus, whether read aloud, read alone, or sung to little ones it is both a venture along well remembered paths of verse and an intriguing contemporary adventure !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    just perfect

    great little book. flows just right. perfect for bedtime - nice and calming sweet story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2007

    Gorgeous

    This book is beautifully illustrated. It brings new life to an old classic through its small touches. Note the seashells and flowers that change in the borders on each page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2006

    delightful!

    We love this book. We got it origanally from the library, but finally purchased our own copy. It's fun for us as parents to read, and it's fun for the family to look at. We could look at it again and again. The pictures are so beautiful, yet whimsical at the same time. Plus, as parents we love the sweet humor behind both words and pictures.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    classic

    everyone should know this by heart. It is easy. Everyone should also know what a Runcible spoon is. (Macys doesn't have it - or have a clue what it is.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    colorful

    a favorite of mine since I was a child I got this for my niece for xmas

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  • Posted July 14, 2013

    There are many illustrated version of Edward Lear's The Owl and

    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 somewhere between Beatrix Potter and Hilaire Belloc. 
    On the surface, they are silly with a rhyming scheme pleasing to the ear. But scratch a little below that surface and there is something a little "off" in his work. All was not safe in Potter's world -- Peter Rabbit's father was turned into a stew -- but there was a happy ending for the protagonist. Reading Belloc can still give me nightmares. There is no safety in Lear's writing, no guarantee of a happy ending, but it is thought-inducing, not nightmare-inducing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2009

    The Owl and the Pussycat paperback book.

    I placed an order with B&N online for the Owl and the Pussycat
    calendar in June and still have not received it. I charged it on my
    credit card and had hoped to have received it by now as a gift for
    a birthday present in the middle of July. I am still waiting and hope
    that it will be here soon. Please let me know. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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