The Owl and the Pussycat
Dublin-born illustrator Kevin Waldron has tackled one of the best-loved nonsense verses: clearly feeling that Edward Lear did not write enough words to fill a 32-page book, a playful new verse from Angela McAllister adds children to the mix, who ‘rattled the Turkey who lives on the hill with their noisy, rumbustifus play’. Waldron’s mixed-media illustrations are full of rich, dense colour and life, and are always playful and engaging.
He makes great use of the space allowed by the short text to have sumptuous double-page spreads, and some of the detail is wonderful. He makes some interesting decisions: the female owl’s moonlight serenade of her male feline friend caused me to double-take and the Bong trees look quite scary at first. It’s disappointing that Simon & Schuster have chosen to shave a few pennies off their production cost by stapling the spine, rather than giving it a conventional spine, but if this book is not a hit with kids everywhere I’ll eat my runcible hat.