Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes From 50 Celebrated Cartoonists

Duffy, Chris (Editor)
Macmillan 2011. 119 pages
First published: 2011
ISBN: 9781596436008 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Graphic Text

Text Elements:

figurative language, recurring patterns, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Traditional nursery tales are brought back to life through the visual interpretation of 50 contemporary cartoonists. Well-known rhymes such as “London Bridge” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” appear here with other worthies, including “I Had a little Nut Tree” and “Croak, said the Toad.”

This thick hardcover volume offers a highly varied smorgasbord of visual talent. In “This Little Piggy,” exquisite line work characterizes the cartoon panels, in which the various pigs meet their fate. The visual style of “The Queen of Hearts” recalls the golden age of broadsheet comics; the verse itself is enriched by a lively counterpoint of off-the-cuff speech balloons: “Restore the tarts!” “Where are the tarts?” “Teach him a lesson, boys!”

The book offers an excellent way to bring the richness of traditional nursery rhymes to readers of today. Reluctant readers may be induced to flip through the book, never needing to linger for longer than a two-page spread. There is a cartoon for everyone: a space alien family acts out “Pat-A-Cake;” the “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” sports tattoos and a skull t-shirt. This is a collection to be valued equally as an archive of classic children’s literature and an array of contemporary comic book art.

  •  

    Discuss the various art styles featured in the book. Make connections with the art you have seen in other books.

  •  

    Examine the features of the comic strips (colour, panelling, text style, etc.). Create a new strip about a nursery rhyme or poem of your choosing.

  •  Read along with the rhymes as they are read aloud.
  •  

    Compare two of the artists' styles used in the book. How does the art affect your appreciation of the rhyme? Use a Venn diagram to organize your thoughts.

  •  

    Explore the life and work of one of the artists featured in the book (see the notes at the back of the book). Share your information in a presentation to the class.

  •  

    Practise reciting some of the nursery rhymes.

  •  

    Search the web to find a musical version of a rhyme and practise singing it.

  •  

    Look through various nursery rhyme anthologies. Find illustrations of the same nursery rhyme. Discuss which illustrated version you prefer and why. 

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Visual Arts