Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sampler: Nursery Rhyme Comics

Various authors; edited by Chris Duffy; introduction by Leonard S. Marcus Nursery Rhyme ComicsWhen I started this Cybils Graphic Novel (younger grades), I had extremely low expectations, set by my seventh grader.  "Really boring" he had told me.  But as I paged through Nursery Rhyme Comics I found them delightful and innovative, leaving me feeling smug and plugged-in when I recognized an artist but in general just sitting back and enjoying these fresh takes on old nursery rhymes.  The idea behind the book is to gather the best artists and cartoonists around and give them each a nursery rhyme to illustrate, and the result is a rub-a-dub-tub full of fun.

Cybils2011-Web-ButtonBGSo I went back to X to see how this book had fallen so flat for him, and found that he had bogged down in the introduction, where Leonard Marcus explains how much fun the book will be.  He never made it to the first comic. I shared the book one more time, and this time he's much more enthusiastic.  I'll also try it on the fifth grader, who may find this is right up his current short attention span. (Update-- he likes it but wanders off every fifteen pages or so.)

I do have a Cybils meta-question, though. From a reader's point of view, this seems more like a poetry book to me; it's certainly not a (graphic) novel.  I can see that the judges felt that the illustrations were the most important in terms of evaluating the work (Mother Goose and anonymous provide most of the text), but I'm not a judge, I'm a reader, so I don't think I agree. I'd shelve it with other Mother Goose and nursery rhyme books, which in my house are on the poetry side of picture books. (Our library puts it in 398 Folklore.)

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