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Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats: with illustrations by Rebecca Ashdown: 1 (Faber Children's Classics)

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This book is a good way to introduce TS Eliot's poetry to young children as the illustrations make it more interesting and fun. If you are still in the habit of reading to your children then I urge you to treat yourself and them with this lovely book. Scheffler has produced a marvellous edition, fit to stand alongside the previous illustrated editions of the whole book, and it even compares favourably to the darker-hued Erol LeCain illustrations for five of the poems. In 1954, English composer Alan Rawsthorne set six of the poems in a work for speaker and orchestra entitled Practical Cats, which was recorded soon afterwards, with the actor Robert Donat as the speaker. In his book of practical cats, Old Possum, (1888 -- 1965), a great modernist poet, let his hair down.

Many of the poems have refrains, so it’s easy to see why they lent themselves to use in a musical ( Cats). S. Eliot’s beloved cat poems Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, containing beautiful original colour illustrations by Axel Scheffler. Second, I adopted a pet cat -- a little calico -- some months ago after more that 15 years without one. The Old Man has many cats and refers to the poem "The Naming of Cats", explaining that each cat has three names: one common, one fancy and one that only the cat knows. Eliot wrote the poems in the 1930s and included them, under his assumed name "Old Possum", in letters to his godchildren.For instance it would have been good if Scheffler had drawn Growltiger attacking each of the animals and creatures in his path. The illustrations are really nice too, i was worried there wouldn’t be enough illustrations in the book, or that the pictures wouldn’t be that great, but they were beautiful and compliment the book nicely. They are delightful poetry in their own right with varied use of language and phrasing and poetic devices. If cats, witchy or not, are your child’s thing don’t miss the new Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

The book of light verse was the basis of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, which was first produced in London's West End in 1981 and opened on Broadway the following year. In 1981 Eliot’s poems were set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber as Cats which went on to become the longest-running Broadway musical in history.

And I have to say that Hooper does a pretty good job in outdoing the bonkers quotient of the musical, which certainly is no mean feat. So, I'm really more of a dog guy, and I don't know if that's the reason or if it was the horribly ridiculous musical or what, but despite considering T. This collection is a curious and artful homage to felines young and old, merry and fierce, small and unmistakably round.

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