My Very First Mother Goose, Tail Feathers from Mother Goose, and I Saw Esau. Now I have a new favorite, Nursery Rhyme Comics, a compilation of 50 rhymes illustrated by 50 top cartoonists, including Patrick McDonnell, Jules Feiffer, Gahan Wilson, and Roz Chast.
Nursery rhymes and comics are such a natural pairing, it's surprising no one thought of putting together such a collection before. With their nonsense verses and fantastical subjects, nursery rhymes provide an ideal canvas for cartoonists to subdivide into panels. Each artist in this collection illustrates his or her rhyme in a idiosyncratic way. Patrick McDonnell, who starts the collection with "The Donkey," uses a subtle palette and spare style that perfectly matches the rhyme's brevity. Cyril Pedrosa's "This Little Piggy," by contrast, is full of details to pour over and delight in.
So who is this collection meant for? I venture to say everyone. Very young children can listen to the rhymes while nestled on a parent's lap, beginning readers can use the many visual cue to help them decode the text, and older kids won't be embarrassed to be caught reading nursery rhymes when they are presented so wittily. As for me, I'm putting this book on my Christmas list.
Here's a sampling:
Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes by 50 Celebrated Cartoonists
Edited by Chris Duffy
Introduction by Leonard S. Marcus
First Second 128 pages
Published: October 2011