Review Blog

Feb 07 2012

Old Possum's books of practical cats by T S Eliot

cover image

Ill. by Axel Scheffler. Faber and Faber, 2010. ISBN 978 0 571 25248 0.
Recommended. Poetry. From its introduction about the naming of cats, in which readers are told that cats have three names, one being the ordinary name, one a particular name, and then one that the cat knows himself, to the last poem about Cat Morgan, the pirate cat, there is much to enjoy in this reissue of this very popular book of poetry. First published in 1939, the poems are as fresh as ever, and will be enjoyed by a new audience, enhanced with the colourful illustrations by Axel Sheffler.
From the old Gumbie cat, Jennyanydots, who likes to just sit, Rum Tum Tugger, who always go where he's not expected to go, or the dancing Jellicles, or Old Deuteronomy, each poem plays with words and will capture the imagination of the listeners and readers. Many are very well know, Macavity and Mr Mistoffelees for example, partly from the musical, Cats, but some are not so well known and will be enjoyed over again by the readers as they come across lesser known poems such as Cat Morgan, the pirate cat, and Bustopher Jones, the cat about town. And my favourite, Skimbleshanks, the railway cat, is always worth rereading, while another, The pekes and the pollicles, is one I did not know as well, and so enjoyed reading it until it became familiar.
A great addition to any library.
Fran Knight

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