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.
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!