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Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes Hardcover – March 10, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Originally published in Great Britain, this collection includes 150 nursery rhymes—many of them familiar—from 23 countries and cultures, accompanied by color illustrations created by 76 artists, many well known, in a wide variety of styles and mediums: photos, soft watercolor scenes, hand-colored prints, comic strips and cartoons, collage, realistic paintings, and more. Several pages of rhymes are handwritten—some in childlike printing or cursive, others in flowing calligraphy. Jump rope rhymes, riddle rhymes, counting and clapping rhymes, finger games, songs, lullabies, and nonsense rhymes are included. In her two-page introduction, collector Hammill refers to nursery rhymes as "tiny masterpieces of verse" that "have outlasted their origins as street cries, folk songs, political satire, remnants of custom and proverb and have been polished into perfect form over time." Although all of the poems are in English, regional spelling has been used in some poems, such as the Jamaican verse, "Dis lickle pig go a markit,/Dis lickle pig tan a yaad." Appended are an "Index of First Lines," some brief information about each of the artists, and a listing of sources. Four "Contents" pages list poems and artists in order of appearance. The English versions of many familiar poems differ somewhat from the American wording. VERDICT This artistically appealing compilation will delight both children and adults and might be useful in elementary writing projects.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH
A sumptuous multicultural collection of nursery rhymes includes art by over 70 illustrators.The diversity of illustration styles and subjects coincides nicely with the diversity of rhymes, which refreshingly move beyond Anglophone origins. Hammill's skills as collector are especially sharp in juxtaposing cultural variants of rhymes... Delightful. ... Never mind far away, keep this collection close by.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The careful juxtaposition of the rhymes highlights both their diversity and cross-cultural commonalities: versions of “Little Miss Muffet” from England, America, Australia, and Jamaica have the girl being frightened by a spider, grasshopper, wombat, and “bredda Anancy.” A rich and wonderfully varied addition to the bookshelf of nursery-rhyme collections.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This artistically appealing compilation will delight both children and adults.
—School Library Journal
Hammill has clearly created the very first nursery rhyme collection of note for the 21st century.... If you own only one nursery rhyme collection on your shelves, own this one.
—A Fuse #8 Production (blog)
This bountiful collection of colorfully illustrated nursery rhymes showcases both the verse and artists.
Importing verses from all over the world and from a wide variety of cultures enhanced by beautifully illustrated pages by over 70 celebrated artists, this handsome anthology provides a diverse collection of poems that is a visual and literary delight.
Librarians will find that the collection's broad appeal provides numerous opportunities for cross-curricular connections ranging from imaginative word play and artistic discoveries to creative Social Studies explorations.
—School library Connection
Over the Hills and Far Away is a visual feast for children's book lovers, a wonderful gift for any wee reader and, of course, an unbeatable baby-shower gift.
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The beautiful cover art by Pamela Zagarenski is dreamily gorgeous. Many of the illustrations are delightfully humorous. There are well known rhymes from Britain and America, as well as rhymes from African American , Native American and the First people of Australia and New Zealand.
Parents and grandparents will love reading this to children, and slightly older children will ,I imagine ,page endlessly through these wonderful pages, loving the pictures and memorizing the rhymes. I can't imagine any collection of Children's books being without this volume now that it is here. I only wish for a companion recording to go with the book. Now that would be complete perfection.