Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose illustrated by Scott Gustafson

There are so many different collections of illustrated Mother Goose how do you choose just one to check out? Look no further. Scott Gustafson’s Favorite Nursery Rhymes from Mother Goose is practically perfect in every way. The Nursery Rhymes are the classics, but Gustafson’s whimsical interpretation of the characters brings something sparkling and new to a much overdone subject. His pictures have some humans and some animals starring in the main roles. Jack be nimble is a wily cricket. Jack Sprat is a skinny lizard married to an enormous toad. Peter Pumpkin eater and his wife are squirrels who live quite comfortably inside a darling pumpkin house. The detail in Gustafson’s work is amazing and takes several repeat viewings to catch all the little things he has added to each picture. (An extremely tiny lady bug writes a letter with an even smaller quill pen in one picture. Tea pots, milk jugs and salt shakers have smiling faces in another.) The book is a slightly larger format than most picture books so the illustrations and words are big enough for viewing in a classroom setting. I was pleased to see some racial diversity among the children featured in the book as well.

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