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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Humpty Dumpty and Friends, selected and illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko. Tundra, 2010. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"A little pig found a fifty-dollar note,
And purchased a hat and a very fine coat,
With trousers, and stockings, and shoes,
Cravat, and shirt-collar, and gold-headed cane,
Then proud as could be,
did he march up the lane;
Says he, "I shall hear all the news.""

I have never heard the above quoted nursery rhyme, and there are others like it in this wonderfully illustrated book. There are also old favorites. Each of the twenty-two verses is accompanied by inspired and detailed artwork. I spent a long time poring over the illustrations to 'see what I could see'! Oleg  Lipchenko gives new and dramatic life to each one of them.

I have seen and admired his work before...he won the 2009 Elizabeth Mazrik-Cleaver Award for his amazing artwork in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Tundra, 2009). About that honor, the jury said:

"Lipchenko’s illustrations are more than images on a page, they are an homage to the surreality and humour of Carroll’s text as well as a meticulously and brilliantly constructed vision of a longstanding tradition in children’s literature.”

If you know that book, you will know that you have a treat in store when you pick up Humpty Dumpty and Friends. Each of the images in it are subtly humorous, packed with meaning and engaging. Wait until you meet Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee, Robin the Bobbin or all the mischievous children of the old woman who lived in a shoe. You have a treat in store when you get this book to add to your nursery rhyme collection!

"A robin and a robin's son
Once went to town to buy a bun.
They couldn't decide on plum or plain,
And so they went back home again."

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