Skip to main content

Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists with an Introduction by Leonard S Marcus, edited by Chris Duffy, published by First Second Books

NurseryRhymes-300rgb

Aside from Françoise Mouly (TOON BOOKS) and Art Speigelman's brillinat Little Lit collections of folklore, fairy tales and funny (and scary) stories, illustrated in comic book format by a truly remarkable collection of artists (Jules Feiffer, Maurice Sendak, Barbara McClintock, David Macaulay, Daniel Clowes and William Joyce, to name a few) and authors (see previous list and add: Lemony Snickett, David Sedaris and Neil Gaiman) I can't think of any other place to find such a spectacular collection of creative types contributing to one very reasonably priced book. That is, until First Second had the genius to bring us Nursery Rhyme Comics.

I thought and thought about what to write in this review and even considered letting the pictures below do all the talking. But, as I read and reread children's book historian Leonard S Marcus' introduction to the book, I realized that he has perfectly summed up the brilliance and wonder of this book and, in light of that I will finish my review by quoting from him and allow you to peruse the pictures yourselves. Leonard begins,

Spry, melodic rhymes like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" have entertained generations of children while also demonstrating that words have the power to delight - not just convey more pedestrian messages like "See Spot run" and "Put away your toys." It's no accident that so many of the se (mostly anonymous) rhymes have lasted for centuries, passed down by word of mouth and a forest of illustrated books, though none illustrated quite like the book you have before you.

Marcus goes on to point out that "nursery rhymes make fertile ground for comics artists" because the old rhymes we know and love "beguile in part by sounding so emphatically clear about themselves while in fact leaving almost everything to the imagination." Marcus gives the example of "Hickory Dickory Dock." Is the mouse a "helpless bystander," as Marcus had imagined in his childhood, or is he a "slapstick superhero," as Stephanie Yue imagines in her interpretation of the nursery rhyme.

Marcus' observation is truly an astute one. While we all still known and sing these rhymes, how often to we really pay attention to them, in print or otherwise? Looking anew at these rhymes, with Marcus' perspective in mind, reading this book can be (besides just plain fun) educationally useful. As he notes,  emerging will "recognize the comics format with its characteristically small word clusters, abundance of visual cues, and funhouse ambiance, precisely the funhouse ambiance most helpful for honing and testing their fledgling skills." And, anyone else around (older brothers or sisters) who has developed an interest in graphic novels and manga will be pulled in to and fascinated by the "rich, loam-like mix of the book's assembled company of artists, some perhaps well known to them and others ripe for discovering."  Finally, Marcus notes that, in a time of a "mind-bending barrage of images aimed at momentarily engulfing our attention, it is refreshing to come across a book that encourages readers to linger over each and every one of its pages."

Below are images from the book with attributions and links to the artists' websites below, when available. Other contributors include - Jules Feiffer, Raina Telgemeier, Lark Pein, Eleanor Davis and Gene Yan, all creators whose work has been featured at books4yourkids.com in the past.













Matthew Ellseworth






COMING SEPTEMBER, 2013!!!


Source : Review Copy

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret) The Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…