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Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists

First Second Books has a great anthology in Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists which matches amazing cartoonists with classic nursery rhymes.  And there are just amazing folks involved with this book -- so much so that it's hard to flag any of them as more exciting than the rest... but some of my favorite webcomic creators contributed, including Kate Beaton, Vera Brosgol, Lucy Knisley, Dave Roman, Raina Telgemeier, and Drew Weing.  Really everyone involved in the project, whether well known or not, has already put out great comics and that amazing collection of talent really shows in the book.

Nursery rhymes are at once familiar bits of oral storytelling from parenthood and childhood and also the remnants of earlier oral traditions, passed down from generation to generation in one form or another.  They are memes, managing to occupy bits of your memory through their simple rhymes and imagery.  Everyone remembers simple poems like Mary Had a Little Lamb or Little Bo Peep or Pop! Goes the Weasel.  The fun in this book is the range of options and styles the creators take in presenting these familiar scenarioes.  Some are relatively straightforward such as Sara Varon's presentation of Mary and her little lamb following her to school:

Somel like Varon, follow comic medium conventions fairly strictly, others take a slightly more illiustrated story approach. 

 

Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac) contributed There Was an Old Woman Tossed Up in a Basket and this is the completely lovely last panel.

It is a fun book that is completely appropriate for very young kids and could easily serve as a story book for parents to read or very young kids to look at (and read when they're ready).  It was also a big hit with my kids who older elementary school age, simply because the visual interpretation are so much fun and beautiful to look at.  A great idea for an anthology, excellently executed.

The full list of contributors includes: Nick Abadzis; Andrew Arnold; Kate Beaton; Vera Brosgol; Nick Bruel; Scott Campbell; Lilli Carre; Roz Chast; JP Coovert; Jordan Crane; Rebecca Dart; Eleanor Davis; Vanessa Davis; Theo Ellsworth; Matt Forsythe; Jules Feiffer; Bob Flynn; Alexis Frederick-Frost; Ben Hatke; Gilbert Hernandez; Jaime Hernandez; Lucy Knisley; David Macaulay; Mark Martin; Patrick McDonnell; Mike Mignola; Tony Millionaire; Tao Nyeu; George O’Connor; Mo Oh; Eric Orchard; Laura Park; Cyril Pedrosa; Lark Pien; Aaron Renier; Dave Roman; Marc Rosenthal; Stan Sakai; Richard Sala; Mark Siegel; James Sturm; Raina Telgemeier; Craig Thompson; Richard Thompson; Sara Varon; Jen Wang; Drew Weing; Gahan Wilson; and Gene Luen Yang. 

 

The published provided a free copy to ComixTALK for review purposes.