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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasure of Nursery Rhymes. Collected by Elizabeth Hammill and illustrated by more than 70 celebrated artists. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2015. $25.00 all ages

"Miss Lucy had a baby,
She named him Tiny Tim,
She put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water,
He ate a bar of soap,
He tried to eat the bathtub,
But it wouldn't go down his throat."

If you are looking for the perfect baby gift, look no further! This incredible multicultural collection of nursery rhymes is a an exemplary collection. The piece de resistance is that the illustrations are the work of more than 70 illustrators. My first read was concentrated solely on trying to determine the identity of the artist without ever looking for clues. Some were easy; some were more difficult; others were downright impossible. Without going back to read the rhymes, I looked to the back matter to read about each of these exceptionally talented people.

Only then did I read the verses collected here. There is a lot to love about it, about the design, about the ways Elizabeth Hammill found to bring attention to different cultures and world communities by putting them together in brilliant ways. The pairings are unique and captivating.  

I could go on to share the text surprises, and those illustrations that I found especially attractive and engaging. This is not just another Mother Goose book. Instead, it is a celebration of appealing and lasting work from around the world.

This is a must have for new parents. It will provide long hours of entertainment and learning for everyone in the family. It is already on my 'keepers'  shelf to share with Sicily the next time she comes to visit her Nona. I cannot wait to share it with her. 

A glorious production!

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