Jean Ure on Adèle Geras’s Josephine and Pobble and Mimi and Apricot Max
There are books which you can admire without particularly enjoying: books you can enjoy without particularly admiring. Relatively few books which you can both admire and enjoy – and wish that you had written.
As part of a reading project, these two small books by Adèle Geras have tended to be subsumed into the whole, and yet they deserve to stand alone for they are little pearls. Geras always writes beautifully when writing about cats, and always writes beautifully when writing verse. These four extended poems are simple without being banal, immediately accessible and child-friendly without being facile. The words flow easily and gently, sometimes rhyming, always rhythmical.
The snow came down like slow and silent moths.
I looked up and I saw it in the night
falling through darkness,
making things white.
I tread the woolly softness with my feet.
I curl up neatly,
and close my eyes, my happiness complete.
Not zingy or zappy, or hectically on the move; but wonderfully evocative … of cats, and their people and their places.
The covers do not match the delicacy of the text, but the inside illustrations are a delight. A treat for cat lovers of any age!
Josephine and Pobble (0 582 12161 2) and Mimi and Apricot Max (0 582 12214 7) are published by Longman at £5.40 each pbk. Jean Ure’s latest book is Just Sixteen, published by Orchard, 1 84121 453 1, £4.99 pbk.