Category Archives: Edward Lear

A 205th Birthday Gift for Edward Lear

International Owl and Pussycat Day, the 12th of  May 2017 last week was the anniversary of Edward Lear’s 205th Birthday.

lear 2017 a

To celebrate, my small birthday gift this year to Edward Lear are three pages from a book of his own limericks.

lear 2017 b

 

These three musty old pages  have been torn out and the balck and white illustrations by Edward Lear have been hand-painted by one WLA on 5.12.93. This is presumably Tuesday the 5th of December 93 (probably 1893?), five years after Edward Lear died in 1888.

Queen Victoria was still on the throne. Nothing much else happened on this day. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1893

Who knows why these were painted or ripped out or who WLA was? Enjoy their colourful Victorian watercolour efforts anyway.

Lear 2017 c

Happy Birthday Edward Lear  (albeit a few days late)

Read past blogposts for ideas on celebrating Lear’s Birthday or using nonsense verses for literacy fun in schools.

Blogposted by Mark Norris, marking  International Owl and Pussycat Day, May 12th 2017

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Interesting Literature blog’s view of The Owl and The Pussycat

The ever interesting “Interesting Literature” Blog by Oliver Tearle this weeks features an analysis of interest to teachers and older secondary and A level / degree students of the nation’s favourite poem “The Owl and The Pussycat” by Edward Lear.  Does it mean anything at all?

“But this all still leaves us with the question: is ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ meant to mean anything? Is it simply delightful fantasy (it features anthropomorphic animals, after all: the owl and the pussycat can talk, the owl sings a song and plays the guitar, the pig engage in financial transactions, and the turkey officiate at ceremonies), or is it making a commentary on Victorian society?”

http://interestingliterature.com/2016/12/22/a-short-analysis-of-edward-lears-the-owl-and-the-pussycat/

Many interesting points raised about or by this rewarding and intriguing ‘nonsense’ (or is it?) poem.

Owlpussycat

Happy Christmas to all our readers!

Posted by Mark Norris.

Happy 204th birthday Edward Lear!

What nonsense and bosh to mark Edward Lear’s 204th birthday!

Edward Lear bicentenary 2012 logo

Edward Lear bicentenary 2012 logo

Three ways to celebrate this year’s International Owl and Pussycat Day 2016 to mark Edward Lear’s birthday on 12 May.

Owlpussycat

 

  1. You could read the famous and favourite poem in whatever language you choose!

You can find the original poem at www.nonsenselit.org

http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/ns/pussy.html

https://teachingnonsenseinschools.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/the-owl-and-the-pussycat-poem-in-translation-over-100-world-languages/

2. You could sort back here through years of occasional blogposts for lots of ideas for celebrating or teaching nonsense!

https://teachingnonsenseinschools.wordpress.com/2011/12/

https://teachingnonsenseinschools.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/edward-lear-the-owl-and-the-pussycat-a-life-and-death-in-stamps/

lear stamps

Lear 1990 centenary stamps from our Darwin 200 sister blog site https://darwin200stampzoo.wordpress.com/

https://darwin200stampzoo.wordpress.com/

https://teachingnonsenseinschools.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/happy-203rd-birthday-mr-lear-its-international-owl-and-pussycat-day-again/

3. You could buy something nonsensical and joyous like these “puppetry training aids” that  I found in crazy and colourful Danish store Tiger   emerging online and across UK high streets:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Only a £1 or 2  for these puppetry teaching aids at Tiger

And some suitable puppetry training nonsense ideas to use these wiggly eye rings (this sounds better in Danish):

https://teachingnonsenseinschools.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/puppets-poems-owls-pussycats-and-wedding-presents-more-ideas-for-celebrating-international-owl-and-pussycat-day/

Celebrate wildlife however weird, wacky or fantastical.

Enjoy!

Posted by Mark Norris on International Owl and Pussycat Day 2016

Nominate Edward Lear for the new £20 note by 19 July 2015

pussy2

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/characters/nominationform.aspx

The  Bank of England website has a competition to nominate a British visual artist for the new £20 note – why not add your vote for Edward Lear?

£20 note character nominations close on Sunday 19 July 2015.

Why Lear?

Because he was a  scientific illustrator of animals, doodler of nonsense Limerick illustrations and a man with a beard and facial hair that would make such a banknote hard to counterfeit or forge!

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/characters/nominationform.aspx

 

You are only allowed 100 words so I wrote my nomination at speed in the spirit of Lear in non-Limerick doggerel (which doesn’t scan that well)

There was an odd man called Edward Lear,

whose limericks were strangely queer;

Pobbles, jumblies, owls and cats,

And  Quangle-Wangle’s amazing hats

on a £20 note – imagine that!

Owlpussycat

Happy 203rd Birthday Mr Lear – it’s International Owl and Pussycat Day again!

Today’s marking of Edward Lear’s 203rd  birthday 12 May 2015, celebrating this pioneering wildlife illustrator and creator of nonsense verse, celebrates his nonsense botany:

doc00927220150511145102_001

A beautiful little something from our collection, using the 1988 centenary stamps and a great Owl and Pussycat postmark!

If you want to find out more about using postage stamps within teaching, check out the blog posts and links on our  Darwin200 stamp zoo website blog  

Find out more about Edward Lear, his famous poems and teaching and literacy ideas on the links and previous posts of this blog.

Happy Birthday Mr Lear!

Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo

Owl and Pussycat carved tree sculpture, Treefest Westonbirt 2013

Owl and pussycat  carvings by Dave Lucas, Westonbirt Treefest 2013  Source: FOWA website

Owl and pussycat carvings by Dave Lucas, Westonbirt Treefest 2013
Source: FOWA website

After chatting online to Forestry Commission colleagues at Westonbirt, I came across these fabulous pictures of The Owl and the Pussycat carved from a tree trunk by David Lucas. It was carved as part of Treefest 2013 and has now apparently been donated to Coln House School for their sensory area. Lucky school!

Owl and pussycat  carvings by Dave Lucas, Westonbirt Treefest 2013  Source: FOWA website

Owl and pussycat carvings by Dave Lucas, Westonbirt Treefest 2013
Source: FOWA website

I’ve sat in some good storytelling cahirs in schools and school grounds in the past, talking about animals but these really are magnificent!

owl_news_clipping

You can see the statue in use at: http://www.colnhouseschool.org/index.php/2012-11-12-20-56-49/2013-12-03-14-12-30/the-owl-and-the-pussycat

See others on the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum website  http://www.fowa.org.uk/your_westonbirt/blog/?p=3695

You can see more about the next Treefest 2015 at:

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6xclux

Happy New Lear 2015!

For more info on this Guinness parody of Lear see http://guinnesscollection-mick.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/dr-book-15-happy-new-lear-from-1957.html

Happy New Lear, a parody of Lear by Guinness and artist John Nash 1957

Happy New Lear, a parody of Lear by Guinness and artist John Nash 1957

Happy 202nd birthday 2014 Mr Lear!

Happy 202nd Birthday Mr. Lear! I cannot believe it is two years since zoos, museums, galleries, libraries,  schools and many others around the world celebrated Lear’s bicentenary on May 12 1812 / 2012 .

The last year or two since Edward Lear’s 200th birthday  has seen further Lear events (see Facebook link below). 2013 also saw the spirited sequel The Further Adventures of the Owl and The Pussycat by children’s author Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, Stick Man, Tiddler and other much loved captivating rhyming modern classic children’s picture books.

The poem / sequel is beautifully illustrated by Charlotte Voake, illustrator of many other interesting plant and animal based children’s books.

You can take a peek inside the book at the Puffin website.

I’m sure Mr Lear would be very proud that his characters live on.

We couldn’t let Lear’s 202nd birthday go past without rounding up some of the interesting online resources of inspiring nonsense (poems) for classrooms, in case you missed them :

1. Online Puffin Live interview  Further Adventures read by Julia Donaldson http://www.puffinvirtuallylive.co.uk/author/juliadonaldson

2. Puffin Virtually Live Teachers Pack with lots of nonsense ideas, mask templates http://www.puffinvirtuallylive.co.uk/assets/FurtherAdventuresOwlPussycat_PuffinVirtuallyLive.pdf

3. Event kit for libraries and teachers from the Reading Agency  with games, puzzles, masks  http://readinggroups.org/OwlPussycat_EVENT_LIBRARIES.pdf

4. More owl poem ideas for teachers and uniformed group leaders  http://www.freebookez.com/thank-you-owl-poem/

5. Telegraph interview with Julia Donaldson about Further Adventures http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10257895/Julia-Donaldson-on-how-Edward-Lears-poems-influenced-her.html

Maybe its time for more Lear Prequels and Sequels:

What might Julia Donaldson write next? The Previous Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat? Or you class if you happen to be teaching nonsense in the classroom?

The Pobble Whose Toes Grew Back?  

Further Adventures of the Quangle Wangle’s Hat?

I often wondered what later happened to Lear’s not so well known characters “Four Children who went round the World” – Violet, Slingsby, Guy and Lionel  http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/ns/fc.html

I like the way Lear inserts some of his other characters into their bizarre world here, as if they just popped next door or tunneled through the pages. it makes the nonsense world just that little more believable.

There are lots more ideas on previous blog posts here and the Nonsense Lit webpage http://nonsenselit.wordpress.com/  and Lear events Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/learnonsense

I look forward to many more prequels, sequels, further adventures …

Until then, Happy 202nd birthday Mr Lear, 12 May 2014 !  Happy International Owl and Pussycat Day!