Welcome to the first edition of my new review series Picture Book Corner! As a former bookseller and aunt to (very almost) four niblings under five years old, I’ve read a lot of picture books. These two experiences have taught me what works in the world of picture books – not just what I like, but what the children I’m reading the book to like (which ultimately is the most important bit!). I’ve got some brilliant stories lined up to tell you about, so without further ado, let’s start our adventure!
When I was a little one, I would often walk around the house singing the Edward Lear poem of The Owl and the Pussycat. I would imagine myself on that pea-green boat, sailing on adventures beyond islands with ordained piggy-wigs. I dreamed of oceans filled with sea creatures and perhaps even a pirate or two; I had some fanciful ideas of being a swashbuckling marine biologist (which I actually was for a time).
So, you might imagine my surprise when a book about two children pretending to be the Owl and the Pussycat sailing off across the ocean landed on my door.
“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 stunning little book is authored and illustrated by mother-daughter team Coral Rumble and Charlotte Cooke. Rumble’s rhyming story singsongs with a rhythm that reminds me of the original Lear poem, the perfect cadence for a calming storytime. Cooke’s illustrations are sumptuous; her creatures leap from the page with wonderful detail and expression, and every time I look at the drawings I spot a new detail – for me, this is the mark of a good illustrated book!
This is a wonderful adventure into the imagination of two small children, and would also make a great book to accompany a seaside trip, a visit to the aquarium or a learning experience about the sea. They might not sea pirates or puffins with passports, but chances are they might recognise one of Cooke’s bright illustrations in the real world.
I really love this wonderful little book from independent children’s publishers, Wacky Bee Books, and I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of their library!
Thank you kindly to Wacky Bee Books for sharing this copy with me for review.