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Nursery Rhymes for the Young at Heart

edited by Oleg Lipchenko, illustrated by Oleg Lipchenko

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88776-205-9
Publisher: Tundra

The subtlety of the subtitle suggests an intended audience more of adults than children, which is entirely appropriate, due to the inventive, sophisticated artwork. Each verso has two rhymes interpreted in black-and-white spot art juxtaposed to a full-color recto that capriciously interweaves the elements of both in finely lined portrayals. For example, "Humpty Dumpty" is paired with "Rock-a-bye Baby"; in the full-page color illustration, Humpty sits on a wall reading a book in front of a massive tree while the baby sways in a treetop cradle, with numerous, whimsical details filling the backdrop. The old woman who lived in a shoe is paired with the crooked man; she sits knitting outside her teeming boot while the crooked man tips his crooked hat to her, a heart-shaped box under his arm indicating just what may have taken him out on his crooked mile. Lipchenko's style is a mix of textured retro with fancifully baroque illusions. Of the 20 rhymes, fewer than half will likely be unfamiliar to most readers. And unlike most other nursery-rhyme books, this one will have illustration mavens intrigued. (Picture book. All ages)