Nursery Rhyme books are scattered throughout my shelves. I have several Mother Goose collections (including the essential Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose and Mother Goose's Storytime Nursery Rhymes by Axel Scheffler), Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes by Salley Mavor (one of my favorites), and several different versions of rhymes in the board book variety (including Tomie's Little Mother Goose). I definitely did not think I needed any more collections to stock my personal library . . . but I was wrong.
One particularly enchanting page comes early in the book, and really showcases the genius of this creative collection. I read it several times because I love how it compares, at a glance, the similarities and differences between cultures with one base rhyme. Four different versions of "Little Miss Muffet" are set side-by-side on the page (English, Jamaican, American, Australian) and reading them together is just fun.
If you set the unique rhymes aside, this book is a must-have for the artwork alone. With over 70 different artists contributing their talents, each page is a new style and a surprise, with artists including Mo Willems, Ashley Bryan, Jon Klassen, Jerry Pinkney, and many more. There is certainly nothing boring or expected in these pages and the full color illustrations are simply beautiful.
This is a grown-up collection of nursery rhymes that will still entertain young readers with clapping rhymes, riddles, counting-out rhymes, traditional rhymes and distinct illustrations. Even if you think you have seen it all, check this collection out and it is sure to find a space on your shelves.
Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes
collected by Elizabeth Hammill
illustrated by more than 70 celebrated artists
published by Candlewick Press