Review Blog

Sep 24 2012

It's always time for a nursery rhyme illustrated by Emma Stuart

cover image

Lothian, 2012. ISBN 978 0 7344 1269 0.
(Ages: 6+) Picture book. Nursery Rhymes.
This is a strange book, full of old nursery rhymes, with no credited author, and illustrations that lack distinction. Purporting to be Australian themed, the illustrations are similar to those spied years ago in the Little Golden Books series, and although some have an Australian theme, which may encourage readers, most do not, simply following the age old dictum of 'Medieval' costumed figures drawn to accompany old folk's tales and rhymes such as these.
I am always intrigued by uncredited rhymes and stories, because a little search allows the reader to find where these are from, adding to the richness of the story. Round and Round the Garden, for example is one of those fingerplay rhymes, this collected in the 1920's and finally catalogued in the 1950's. It is a very late poem, as teddy bears were not invented until early in the 20th century. For me, this adds a richness to be shared with a class, and I am sorry not to see it thus authenticated. Many of course, are from Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes and I feel should be authenticated with this information if nothing else.
Counting rhymes, repetitive rhymes, old country rhymes, finger play and body parts rhymes all have a huge role to play in a child's development, the affinity with words and rhymes, and, not insignificantly, the closeness and richness of reading something together, should be supported with a rich and varied diet of rhyming stories and this book just does not hold up to a close inspection.
Fran Knight.

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