The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes
DK, March, 2001.
Picture Book, 64 pages.
The most treasured children's books are those that can be enjoyed by both older and younger readers. For this reason, The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes is sure to become a family favorite. For the adult, or older child, little historical captions telling the history of these ancient rhymes are included on almost every page. Since nursery rhymes are a very strong part of the cultural and linguistic heritage of children, a book of nursery rhymes is as essential for the young child's world as building blocks and teddy bears.
In her introduction to the book, Debi Gliori explains that she has used three threads to weave the poems into something very useful. The first rhyme begins with "Boys and Girls, Come Out to Play" and moves through the day ending with "Sleep, Baby, Sleep." The second thread is a family thread which shows (more or less) a little girl, a little boy and a baby. Other children join in during the day, along with a teacher and neighborhood friends. The subjects of the rhymes are skillfully drawn in this lovely child's world. Ms. Gliori's illustrations add much humor to and fit in well with the nonsense of nursery rhymes. The rhymes are woven throughout the illustrations, which adds a necessary whimsical touch. The book makes us see new the old nursery rhymes in a new way. Humpty Dumpty falls from the toddler's highchair tray because the toddler is at that frustrating stage when watching things fall is so entertaining.
Although poetry has sadly become less important in the lives of the majority of us, we must always keep in mind that young children thrive on rhyme, meter and beat. For some as yet unexplored reason, the youngest citizens of this planet respond to poetry with enthusiasm and affection. For this very reason, if for no other, the modern family must include poetry and rhyme in the environment of their children. Apparently, poetry and rhyme are essential vitamins in a developing intelligence. Debi Gliori does an excellent job of showing the old standards in a new way, making this book a must-have for the family library.
--Sarah Reaves White
The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the July, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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