The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat

In the previous post, I wrote about how to spark an interest in reading. In this post, you will find some a great idea to spark the interest in writing. A tips that was used by the Book Company Puffin to temp the author of the Gruffalo series and many other books for children, Julia Donaldson, to write a sequence to the best loved British children’s poem – The Owl and the Pussy-cat by Edward Lear. They sent her a box of treasures from the land of the Bong Trees – honey, five-pound note, runcible spoons, and a ring.

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The items in the treasure box  sparked Julia’s imagination and she created a wonderful lyrical poem about what happened after the wedding The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat. The ring is stolen and the Owl and the Pussy-cat must travel far from the safety of the Bong-tree glade to search for the thief. They travel  across the Sea, to the Chankly Bore and beyond. . . The book has been illustrated by Charlotte Voake, and her light colours perfectly capture the magical adventure.

Edward Lear created wonderful imaginative world and loved mad-up words. His books are filled with bottles of Ring-bo-Ree, characters such as the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò and the Quangle Wangle, and places such as the Chankly Bore and the Great Gromboolian Plain. My daughter and I love to look at his funny Nonsense Botany with plant names liked Manypeeplia Upsidownia and Piggiawiggia Pyramidalis

So why not select a poem or rhyme and make a little box with treasures. Use the items to think dive into the poem and explore new ideas to write a sequel. You can make a little treasure box out of cardboard. Look for things in the house, in the garden or local park that are mentioned in the poem. You can  make a drawing or search for images to illustrate something in the poem or rhyme.

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

By Edward Lear

I

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea

   In a beautiful pea-green boat,

They took some honey, and plenty of money,

   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,

   And sang to a small guitar,

“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,

    What a beautiful Pussy you are,

         You are,

         You are!

What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

II

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!

   How charmingly sweet you sing!

O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

   But what shall we do for a ring?”

They sailed away, for a year and a day,

   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows

And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood

   With a ring at the end of his nose,

             His nose,

             His nose,

   With a ring at the end of his nose.

III

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling

   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”

So they took it away, and were married next day

   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,

   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;   

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,

   They danced by the light of the moon,

             The moon,

             The moon,

They danced by the light of the moon.

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products I believe will add value to my readers.

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