Reviews /

Owl or Pussycat

Authored by Michael Morpurgo
Illustrated by Polly Dunbar
Published by David Fickling books

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Owl or Pussycat is such a delightful book, especially for the festive season. Beautifully written and illustrated, this fine picturebook encourages excitement, anticipation and participation with each turn of the page. Year two loved this book. Firstly, Edward Lear’s poem, the theme of the book, is a firm favourite of generations of children and everyone has a tale to tell about a first performance.

The story recounts Morpurgo’s early childhood and his starring role as an Owl. This tale encapsulates all of the excitement, emotions, costumes, rehearsals, recitals and first-night nerves. And then, the events that unfolded as the curtains open on the first night, which doesn’t go strictly according to plan. Of course, this strikes a chord with educators, parents and children alike. Often, these mishaps make the performance memorable and a joy to recount. Just like Michael’s! I had a similar unforgettable experience in the mid-80s as Cinderella!

This stunning picturebook would make a wonderful addition to any primary classroom or home.

Owl or Pussycat is a reminder of those first experiences, friendship, failure and adaptability: first love and a little jealousy. With first experiences, there are always emotions that are experienced for the first time.

With a story inspired by the legendary poem and illustrations by the wonderful Polly Dunbar, this book makes the ideal springboard to many other titles, old and new.