Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Land Where the Bong Tree Grows

In our last visit to the library, I picked up a copy of Edward Lear's Gromboolian Poems. 'The Owl and the Pussycat' is one of my most favourite poems and I have read it to my eldest ever since he was tiny. I knew a couple of others in the collection, but some were completely new to me.

I love the rhythm and the rhyme, the excessive emotion ("O Timballo! How happy we are...") and the glowing, nonsense descriptions of a fantasy land. These are superb poems to read aloud.

This version of the book is charmingly illustrated by Jenny Thorne. Each page has a colour picture reminiscent of botanical drawings with numbered and labelled specimens such as the Bacons Andwichis (a large pig), the Furrimbombus Buzziflora (a bumble-bee), the Tutancowmun Orientalis (the Orient calf from the Land of Tute mentioned in the Quangle Wangle's Hat) and the Mollusca Oblonga (the oblong oyster which produces a unique square pearl). The poems and the pictures made me smile and the children pored over the illustrations, my eldest explaining the puns to the two little ones.

An excellent find and one which I may well be tempted to buy my own copy of., if only for my own pleasure and delight!

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