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Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists

by Ed. by Chris Duffy

Publishers Weekly In this easy-to-read and fun to read aloud collection, classic nursery rhymes get a contemporary spin from artists as varied as the New Yorker's Roz Chast and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola. Each miniature story is beautifully colored, making each two-page spread a visual treat, and the traditional panel form of comics and graphic novels merge easily with the syncopated beats of the familiar rhymes. The interpretations of the nursery songs range from literal-such as Lilli Carre's "Sing a Song of Sixpence" to the slightly wacky. In Dave Roman's "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe," the numbers in the title refer to tiny clones created by a wizard inventor, with the help of gadgets like the Clone Master 3000 and the Mega Incubator. And any preconceived notions you have about old women living in footwear should be abandoned before reading Lucy Kinsley's delightfully original "There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe." Instead of a crotchety crone, the titular woman lives in a funky boot and runs Ruth's Rock & Rock Babysitting. Every panel explodes with enough rich detail to keep attention glued to the page. Ages 3-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Gr 3 Up-Fifty artists have taken on 50 old-fashioned nursery rhymes, resulting in an anthology that is funny, strange, sweet, and surprising. Some of the artists, like Nick Bruel and Marc Rosenthal, are familiar names in children's publishing; some, like the talented Mo Oh and Jen Wang, are relative newcomers. Craig Thompson and Jaime Hernandez are better known for their adult graphic novels, while Tony Millionaire and Patrick O'Donnell are more frequently found in the newspaper. The dizzying variety of mediums, styles, and techniques employed by these artists joyfully demonstrates the range and the limits to which the comics can be pushed. But as pleasurable as it is to survey this art, what really stands out is the way the artists have interpreted the texts. Many nursery rhymes, after all, have tragic or violent overtones, and most make little or no literal sense. Therefore, Scott Campbell draws "Pop! Goes the Weasel" as a series of tiny stories, each interrupted by that rascally weasel. Lucy Knisley turns "The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe" into a happy old punk-rock hippie babysitter who "whips" the kids into a rock-and-roll frenzy before putting them to bed, happily tuckered out. Dave Roman populates "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" with a series of gnomelike clones and a wizardly inventor, while Craig Thompson draws a fairly literal interpretation of Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat." Add this updated nursery rhyme collection to any library whose readers appreciate both the silly and the sublime. It's clearly not your mother's Mother Goose.-Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Having 50 of the finest cartoonists draw simple nursery rhymes, each no more than two or three pages long, is such a crazy move that it's borderline genius. The ridiculously deep pool of talent here includes those who work in kids' comics circles (Eleanor Davis, Gene Luen Yang, Raina Telgemeier) and those more known in the indie scene (Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Tony Millionaire, Kate Beaton). Illustrating these near-nonsensical rhymes allows the artists all kinds of creative license. Some toy around with the original, like James Sturm's Jack Be Nimble, in which Jack admonishes the reader for suggesting he do anything as foolish as jumping over a lit flame, only to turn away and reveal a scorched bum. Others play it more straight with equally splendid results, such as Craig Thompson's sumptuous take on The Owl and the Pussycat. This collection is a truly dual-purpose book: the dizzying array of visual styles will delight kids encountering these nursery rhymes for the first time, while the great versatility of the medium will make the familiar fresh again for their parents. As if all that weren't enough of a bounty, the esteemed Leonard S. Marcus provides a characteristically illuminating introduction. A can't-miss treasure chest for any collection.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.