One of the great things about good literature is its staying power. Its ability to stick in our heads for potentially our whole lifetime, to evoke fond memories. For you to be able to tell someone about a book, and see their eyes light up in recognition! There are not many people about who do not recognise the first few lines of The Owl and the Pussycat as it is such a classic piece of writing. Whether you love or hate it, you are most likely familiar with some of it.
I really love seeing these classic pieces of writing adapted and interpreted for a new young audience and this is exactly what we have here with The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, written by Coral Rumble, illustrated by Charlotte Cooke and published by Wacky Bee.
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea, in a box on the living room floor. They sailed away for a year and a day and these are the things that they saw… Join two curious children on a quirky adventure, loosely based on the classic Edward Lear poem, The Owl and the Pussycat.
This version of the story tells the tale of two young friends, a little boy dressed as an owl and his friend, dressed as a pussycat of course. We see them in a living room, surrounded by glue, paint and sticky tape, to hint at the fun that’s to come. The playful pair set sail on their pea green boat, and we enter into their imaginations, and a whole world of crazy and action packed fun.
While at sea the young pair meet pirates, naughty seagulls, grumpy sharks and a flute playing clownfish. It’s all completely bonkers, ocean filled fun. This book is a brilliant reflection of the imagination of a child. There are no barriers or walls in children’s heads, they can invent the most wild and magical scenes without concern as to how realistic these might be. It’s great fun.
The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat is simply, yet beautifully written by Coral, just a few words per page, it’s a quick and easy read. It would be a good book to use as a first reader, as it rhymes really nicely, and the words are reflected with clarity within the illustrations. It would also make a lovely bedtime story. It’s full of fun and frolics, but has a nice calming feel to the writing, and the children end up fast asleep after their adventures. It’s an ideal bed book choice.
Charlotte Cooke’s illustrations in this book are just lovely. They have a charmingly gentle feel to them, yet at the same time, when necessary, the action leaps from the page. I adore the pirate scene for instance. Each page is packed withlittle details that children will love to pour over and pick out their favourite parts. Also providing tons of scope for discussion about what’s happening in the story. Why is the seagull naughty? What might the pirate and swordfish be fighting about? For a book that seems, on the surface, quite simple, there’s a huge amount to be drawn from it.
The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat, is a timeless, gorgeously presented paperback book from Wacky Bee books, with lovely spot embossing detail on the cover, stunning illustrations and sweet endearing writing inside, which will be thoroughly enjoyed by young children and their parents or carers, while also looking rather lovely on the bookshelf.
About Coral Rumble:
I have worked as a poet and performer for many years and I’m proud to have my work featured in Favourite Poets (Hodder). I have three published poetry collections of my own and have contributed to more than 150 anthologies. I am also one of the writers of the popular Cbeebies programmes ‘Poetry Pie’ and ‘The Rhyme Rocket’. I have given workshops in some fairly unusual venues as well…the grandest of which being Buckingham Palace!
About Charlotte Cooke
I was thrilled and proud when my picture book The Adventures of the Owl & the Pussycat was highly commended for the Macmillan Children’s Prize in 2010. Since then I have gone on to illustrate many other picture books and I enjoy making the occasional card too. When I’m not in my studio I’m usually outside running or playing referee to my two kids.
The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat is available from all good bookshops and libraries now.
Thank you for reading this adventurous Book Monster review.