The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Rhymes by Edward Lear, illustrated by Robert Ingpen

Walker Books Australia and legendary Australian illustrator, Robert Ingpen have been introducing classic children’s stories to the children of today since 2004.  When Robert Ingpen illustrated the centenary edition of Peter Pan and Wendy, I had no idea that he was going to illustrate many other classic children’s books, including The Wind in the Willows (my favourite Robert Ingpen illustrations), The Jungle Book, The Secret Garden, and The Wizard of Oz.  Robert’s style of illustration is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t think of anyone better to bring these classic stories to life.  One of my most memorable meet-the-author moments was when I got the chance to hear Robert speak about his work at the 2006 Children’s Book Council of Australia Conference in Sydney and get my copy of Treasure Island signed.  Walker Books Australia have just published Robert’s latest addition to his classic children’s stories, Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Rhymes.

The book that I remember most from my childhood is the copy of The Owl and the Pussycat that my parents read to me many times.  I still remember the whole rhyme off by heart today so when I opened Robert Ingpen’s illustrated edition of The Owl and the Pussycat and Other Nonsense Rhymes I could focus completely on Robert’s beautiful illustrations.  My favourite part of Robert’s illustrated editions are the end-papers because this is where he publishes his character sketches.  In this book we get to see his sketches of the owl, the pussycat, and the piggy-wig.   One thing that I’ve noticed with Robert’s illustrations is that animals are his best subjects, so the owl and the pussycat are incredibly life-like.  I hadn’t read any of Lear’s other nonsense rhymes before so I loved meeting the Jumblies, the Dong with the luminous Nose, and the man who invented a purely original dress.  Robert Ingpen brings Edward Lear’s characters to life with his stunning, soft illustrations.

5 out of 5 stars