Friday, 14 November 2014

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week ending 14th November 2014 - "Over the Hills and Far Away - A treasury of nursery rhymes from around the world" compiled by Elizabeth Hammill (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

Over the Hills and Far Away

Written and compiled by Elizabeth Hammill
Illustrated by 77 leading children's book illustrators
Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

We've often described Frances Lincoln's range of books as future family heirlooms, they are the sort of books that should be revered and treasured (and of course read, read and read again!) in equal measure.

We're always drawn to anthologies on the blog. For me, it's the pleasure of reading a collected set of verse that makes me wryly grin "I remember that from school!"

For Charlotte it's the chance to be introduced to those traditional nursery rhymes and poems, but also to find out more about verses and rhymes from around the world in a book that truly celebrates diversity and the rich storytelling traditions of other countries.

Elizabeth Hammill has gathered together a glorious collection of nursery rhymes, some old, some new, some familiar and some not - and for children's book enthusiasts the fun doesn't stop there. For this book also gathers together 77 of the world's most celebrated children's illustrators (including pretty much all of our favourites!) to bring their own visual styles to each of the rhymes.

Not that there was ever any doubt that these folk are like superstars to Charlotte (and me too!), but it was quite something to go through the book enjoying the rhymes and have her pick out and name illustrators (and quite often the books they're famous for), identifying them with ease. Tucked within the pages you'll find the likes of Axel Scheffler, Shirley Hughes, Clara Vulliamy, Shaun Tan, Rebecca Cobb (YAY!) and so many others that you'll instantly recognise, plus a whole slew of artists who you may not be familiar with but will want to go off and discover more work by.

The nursery rhymes are such a pleasure to read aloud, particularly at the moment as Charlotte seems to have fallen completely head over heels in love with poetry and verse (and spends a lot of time giggling over the works of Spike Milligan, Edward Lear and one of our fave Twitter folk Colin West).

This is described as a treasury of nursery rhymes and it truly is a treasure. What an amazing book! Make sure this finds its way into your little ones' christmas stocking and they'll still be enjoying it, reading it and absolutely loving the socks off it next christmas too!

Charlotte's best bit: "Doctor Foster" wonderfully illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Daddy's Favourite bit: Far too many to pick just one favourite but absolutely loved Rebecca Cobb's illos for "Wee Little Boy" and "Polly Put the Kettle On" - Pitch perfect depictions of kids at play. What a truly astonishing book!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln Children's Books)