Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists

Nursery Rhyme Comics -- "fifty classic verses illustrated in comics form by today's greatest cartoonists!" (2011, First Second Books)

This is a extraordinarily entertaining book. Fifty great illustrators, including many familiar to me, such as Nick Bruel, Jules Feiffer, Eleanor Davis, David Macaulay, and Gene Luen Yang, to name just a few, offer interpretations of classic nursery rhymes in wonderfully entertaining graphic novel style. Some interpretations are Dark (the introduction of a hungry wolf family into This Little Piggie by Cyril Pedrosa makes for a marvelous little story--not all the pigs make it safely home....), some are lovely and evocative (Stephanie Yue makes Hickory Dickory Dock into a mouse world fantasy), and David Macaulay's London Bridge is Falling Down offers three pages of the wonderful detail one expects from him. Some are aimed at young readers of picture books, some seem created for older readers And some (like James Stern's take on Jack Be Nimble) use the graphic panel form to add snarky and amusing subtext to the original verse.

I could go on and on....but the short answer is--this is Great Fun! It is much like a gourmet box of mixed chocolates--lots of variety, with something for every taste (although of course not everyone will like everything, and there were a few that didn't appeal to me), and makes a great gift!

If you feel that your child has reached the advanced age of 11 or so without a sufficient familiarity with classic nursery rhymes--give them this book! Or leave it on your coffee table, and watch them pick it up over and over again....(mine did this...). (Any adult guest worth their salt will probably pick it up too).

If you want a fun book to share with students that opens up imaginative possibilities, maybe leading to a Nursery rhyme illustration project of their own, give them this book.

If you want something fun and different to share in exploratory delight with a younger child--this is the book!

If you want a book to give to an adult friend with a sense of humor who likes graphic novels, but are uncertain about what books they already have, this might well be a good choice!

Personally, I myself am especially fond of this book because it came on Monday last week, and we decided to go out to eat, forgetting that half our town had no electricity...the place was mobbed, and our order got lost in the shuffle...hours passed, but I had Nursery Rhyme Comics with me, and it proved invaluable in keeping my own boys happy. And then they gave us our meal for free. Had we not been so pleasant about it (thanks in large part to having had a book like this with us) this might not have happened.

Thanks, First Second Books, for the review copy!

The Kidlitosphere's Poetry Friday Round-Up is at The Miss Rumphius Effect today!


  1. Now this is one book I definitely have to put on my "to-borrow-list" from our community library. I am crossing my fingers that we have this on our shelf - it looks like such a fun read! And it looks perfect as well for our fractured fairy tale theme. How awesome. And I loved your commentary as well. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Oh dear, I just checked. It's not in our community libraries here in Singapore yet. Will definitely recommend to our librarians for purchase. Thanks again.

  3. I can't wait to see this!

    (Great story about how it got you a free dinner!)

  4. I hope you all get a hold of it soon--it really is fun!


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