NICOLA BAYLEY'S BOOK OF NURSERY RHYMES by Nicola--Illus. Bayley

NICOLA BAYLEY'S BOOK OF NURSERY RHYMES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bayley assembles 22 of Mother Goose's most familiar rhymes--""Cock Robin,"" ""Old Mother Hubbard,"" and ""Simple Simon"" are the only ones that extend for more than a few lines--as a showcase for her elegant, luminous paintings. There are vistaed double-page scenes, outlined interiors characterized by richness and Victorian fuss, and lovely miniatures less than an inch in diameter; some are set in cunning frames and some loom from the white pages in oval, oblong, or more fanciful shapes. There is less of that airless unreality that marked Tyger Voyage, and here the dreamlike strangeness suggested by ""Goosey Goosey Gander,"" for example, can be momentarily arresting--but it is never inviting. The unearthly stillness that hovers over the double-page ""St. Ives"" and ""Hey Diddle Diddle"" make them scenes to view from a distance, not to enter; and the smaller pictures with all their fine detail are similarly frozen. The whole book gives you the feeling of wandering through Sleeping Beauty's castle during the hundred-year enchantment. Plush, but insensible to the requirements of a child's first book.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1977
Publisher: Knopf