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Lear, Edward.

Illustrated by Erica Rutherford. Montreal. Tundra, c1986. unpaged, paperbound boards, $12.95, ISBN 0-88776-181-X.CIP

Pre-School-Grade 3
Reviewed by Dale Simmons

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January

The Owl and the Pussycat, the traditional poem by Edward Lear, conies to life once again, this time under the artistic hands of Erica Rutherford.

Rutherford was born in Scotland. A regular exhibitor at the Leicester Galleries in London, she went to the United Stales in the sixties and taught art at the University of Missouri. She now divides her time between Toronto and Prince Edward Island, where she works at painting and printmaking. Her work can be found in the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Canada Council Art Bank, the Arts Council of Great Britain, and in corporate and private collections.

A first book for Rutherford, she has attempted, as have many other artists in the past, to capture the nonsensical quality of Lear's verse. She has achieved this through a series of thirteen silk-screen type paintings. They make for illustrations that are striking for their colour, as well as for their sense of power. Rutherford believes that "colour is the primary reason for a painting to exist." Indeed, colour is what these paintings are all about.

The illustrations here are less sophisticated than in Ron Berg's version of The Owl and the Pussycat.* The very young child will respond to the simplicity of Rutherford's illustrations, though all ages will enjoy their artistic merit. Recommended.

Dale Simmons, National Library of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.

•Reviewed vol. XIII/4 July 1985 p. 179.

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