Nursery Rhyme Fun with Book Reviews

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Disclosure: Candlewick Press gave me a copies of these book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own, and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Now if you have been reading Crafty Moms Share, you know we have a thing for nursery rhymes. In particular Hazel LOVES Hey, Diddle Diddle. Yes we have a nursery rhyme quilt, have dressed as the dish and spoon for Halloween, had a nursery rhyme birthday party and have just about every version and spin off written of Hey, Diddle Diddle (and yes there are quite a few). Well Candlewick Press added two more nursery rhyme books to our collection.

The first book is Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes collected by Elizabeth Hammill and illustrated by over 70 artists. This book is a beautiful collection of nursery rhymes from around the world. It includes many of the ones you already may know, but also ones you have never heard. Each rhyme has its origin stated at the end. Some even go a step further than just a country with the specific ethnic group like Chinese American. It is truly a multicultural collection with rhymes from Africa, Native American, Australian, Europe and more. 

The artwork brings the rhymes alive. It is by artist you recognize like Mo Williams, Eric Carle, Lucy Cousins and more. At the end of the book there are even paragraphs on each artist. We have really enjoyed this beautiful book and it is definitely going into our collection. It is something I see Hazel sharing with her own children some day. For awhile now education has turned away from the traditional nursery rhymes, perhaps because of the stories of the origins and meanings. However there is educational value in reading nursery rhymes. Some reasons stated in a PBS Parents article, "The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes" by Michael Sizer are they teach the child about language and help develop memory, they preserve a culture that spans generations, they are a great group activity and the children see connection between the rhymes, music and movement, and they are fun. As adults we often see other lessons and meanings in them, but to kids they are often just fun to say and hear. On K-3 Teacher Resources: Why Teach Nursery Rhymes, it state that nursery rhymes also help with phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is a strong predictor of a child's reading success.  Being able to distinguish between the sounds of the language helps children begin to understand how the words are put together.
 The second book is The Cow Tripped Over the Moon: A Nursery Rhyme Emergency by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Joel Stewart. This is a fun rhyming book that goes through different nursery rhymes as the ambulance workers who treat the hurt characters in the rhymes. It obviously starts with the cow after she fell from jumping the moon (thus the title) and since this is the title the reader can find the characters (cat, dog, dish and spoon) in the other pages. It started a very interesting discussion for us of Old King Cole since Hazel did not remember it and wanted to know why the blackbird bit the maid and why the birds were in a pie. Then we happened to read Old  King Cole in Over the Hills and Far Away that same night. Perfect timing. We really enjoyed the humor in this one and Hazel loved looking for the characters. Yes, the ambulance drivers ask the king's men to move out of the way so they can fix Humpty Dumpty. It is such a fun book and the illustrations are great. They are colorful and fun. 

So if you want to read some nursery rhymes from around the world and have fun with the ones you may already know, check out these two great books from Candlewick Press. I know we are happy we did! For nursery rhyme ideas be sure to check out my Pinterest Board.