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NONSENSE! by Edward Lear


by Edward Lear & illustrated by Valorie Fisher

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-86380-2
Publisher: Anne Schwartz/Atheneum

Fisher’s bright collages of mixed media are a wonderful match for Lear’s whimsical limericks. Each left-hand page has one poem, framed in curlicues and centered on wallpaper-patterned background; each right-hand page features that poem’s star in his or her element. Drawings, photography, and collage (and perhaps more) create fascinating layers in each scene. For “There was an old person of Nice, / Whose associates were usually Geese,” the geese are photographed toys, while the jolly, cherubic man walking towards the reader is made from two-dimensional paper. The “old man of Dumbree,” also two-dimensional, leans elegantly over a three-dimensional wood and iron-looking bench as he “taught little owls to drink tea.” Vocabulary definitions are decoratively integrated as ribbons, scrolled paper, or street signs, making the verses more accessible for young readers. Fisher’s variation of texture and material invites repeated perusal even as each picture’s meaning is delightfully clear. Cheerfully absurd. (biography, map) (Picture book. 4-8)