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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nursery Rhyme Comics, edited by Chris Duffy with an introduction by Leonard S.Marcus.First Second, 2011. $21.99 ages 9 and up

"It's no accident that so many of these (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. Everything about the rhymes lines up to make them memorable: their pulsing, beat-the-drum rhythms, close-knit rhyme schemes and nutshell narratives..."

Nursery rhymes as comics....who thought of that? Doesn't matter...what does matter is that this book is filled with each comics artist's new and oh, so entertaining vision of a particular rhyme.

These classic rhymes have always been such fun to share with children and in this book, editor Chris Duffy has asked a plethora of artists to grace his collection with detail filled, personal visions for each one. Weird and wonderful, they will draw you back repeatedly to see what you missed the first, second, third time.

Fifty artists were given the task to illustrate one poem, with predictable flair, humor and originality.
What a dream collection it is! You will find some of your favorite artists here and you will wonder why others were not included on the list. How long do you want the book to be? And, what about a second edition?

It's a splendid addition to any child's library. They will make new discoveries, and covet old favorites. You know how kids love comics. Here they will find rhyme, rhythm, silliness and even a shock or two.  I loved having a close look at the interpretation that each artist brought to the rhyme assigned. I have my favorites and you will have yours. Your children will do the same, and I guarantee they will change from time to time. Mine have.

In the back matter, Chris Duffy adds an editor's note and a descriptive and alphabetic list of the book's contributors.

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