The Further Adventures of The Owl and The Pussy-Cat – a great gift for kids this Christmas(Book Review)

Review of “The Owl and The Pussy-Cat” and “The Further Adventures of The Owl and The Pussy-Cat” – a great gift for children this Christmas!

Book Review of the Further Adventures of The Owl and The Pussy Cat by Julia Donaldson - Our Little House in the Country 1 We were recently lucky enough to receive copies of the Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear and The Further Adventures of The Owl and The Pussy Cat by Julia Donaldson, both illustrated by Charlotte Voake and published by Puffin.  Being huge Julia Donaldson fans, where barely a week passes without at least one of her books being read at bedtime, we jumped at the opportunity to take a look at these books and snuggle up by the fire and have a read of them.

No doubt you are familiar with the old favourite – The Owl and The Pussy Cat, written by Lear for his 3 year old daughter 1868. This funny, nonsense poem was a favourite of mine as a young child and the vivid images conjured up by the rhyme still stay with me today.  I loved the characters and bizarre words and felt that my children would really enjoy it too.  This edition of the poem is a beautifully illustrated hardback book, a stunning addition to any child’s collection.  Charlotte Voake’s beautiful drawings magically capture the wonderful imagery portrayed in the poem.  To me they were so reminiscent of how I imagined these strange and amazing places as a little girl.  Doodles(5) and Oodles(3) were instantly captivated when I began to read the book to them.  I have often mentioned that rhyming stories are fantastic for kids as they help to maintain their interest (rhyme is also an essential skill to learn when learning to read/phonics).  The rhythm and rhyme and indeed the repetitive phrases in this book are perfectly pitched for younger children.

Book Review of the Further Adventures of The Owl and The Pussy Cat by Julia Donaldson - Our Little House in the Country 1Ask my children to name their favourite books and I’m pretty sure they will list The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, Stick Man, Room on the Broom, A Squash and A Squeeze and Fox’s Socks amongst their choices.  Time and again they chose Julia Donaldson’s fantastic works as their book of choice at bedtime.  The edition of The Further Adventures of The Owl and The Pussy Cat that we received included an audio version on CD read by Donaldson – a real treat for my little boy (5) as he loves to listen to stories on his CD player as he falls asleep.  Audio books are such a great addition to your home library – they allow children to experience the story in a different way and also allows them increased exposure to books and reading as they can be listened at any time.

I thought that this sequel was seamless.  In my opinion it effortlessly continues where the original poem left off.  I believe that Julia Donaldson perfectly captured the nonsense world of Lear’s original verse and created her own unique yet sympathetic “picture story”.  We read the two books consecutively and I actually do not think that the kids even noticed that I was reading  two different books by two different authors.  They really loved the books and had so much fun chatting about the Pobble and imagining what the Chankly Bore might look like.  The language used in the sequel is fantastic – simple, imaginative, nonsense and yet introduces rich and descriptive vocabulary too.

As both books are illustrated by Charlotte Voake there is a definite sense of continuity and cohesion between the two.  While Lear’s original work is a much loved and treasured piece, Donaldson’s Further Adventures of The Owl and The Pussy Cat superbly explores what happened next!  Personally I feel that The Further Adventures work best as part of a set rather than as a standalone book but in saying that, it is a beautifully illustrated and written book that would make a perfect gift for any young child.  I have plans to buy both books to give as a set to friends and family this festive season.

In summary we loved both books and would highly recommend them, Doodles and Oodles both gave them a big “thumbs up”.  Our copies are both well-thumbed and a little dog eared already (we only received them a week ago) – a sign of a well-loved book in our house!!!!

I would love to hear what you think!  Have you read these books?  Did you enjoy them?  Please let us know!

Enjoy!

Ciara x

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of each book in exchange for and honest review.  All views and opinions are my own.

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