Thursday, August 05, 2010

Stories from popular rhymes

When my daughter A was 2 1/2 yr old, I got home two books from the library. She already knew quite a few nursery rhymes by then, and I brought these home without really looking at the text. I thought that since they were board books with full page illustrations, she would enjoy them.

I was wrong! She didn't just enjoy them, she loved them. She was thrilled with them, and frankly, so were we. As these were not mere renditions of the old nursery rhymes. These were complete stories in themselves, in rhyme. Tickling all our love of verse. With wonderful, full page illustrations. 

Written and illustrated by Iza Trapani.
Ages 2-5yrs.

What happens when Mary's little lamb who follows her to school decides that it wants some time away from Mary and explore the farm? It lets out the horse from its barn, which decides to go charging onto the goose and the cow, which scare the lamb so much that it falls into the water trough, giving the old barn cat a scare, setting it among the hens which scatter in fright.

In the middle of this fuss,
A grumpy goat came by
And gave the lamb a mean old butt
Straight up into the sky.

Into the pigpen fell the lamb
And got completely stuck,
Then all the way from head to hoof
Was covered up in muck. 

So how, now is the lamb to get unstuck? What happens next? How does it get back to Mary? That makes up the rest of the story.

Written and illustrated by Iza Trapani.
Ages 2-5yrs.

Here, our itsy bitsy spider isn't satisfied just by getting up the water-spout. It climbs up the spout again, and gets right into the house. She moves around the kitchen, the bathroom and the parlour in search of a place to spin her web. Unfortunately, we have a mouse and a cat in turn chase it out of the house again. So what does itsy bitsy spider do now? It proceeds to climb up a tree, meeting with a few more adventures and animals along the way.

The itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up without a stop
She spun a silky web
Right at the very top.

She wove and she spun
And when her web was done,
The itsy bitsy spider
Rested in the sun.

We were so enamoured of the books that we bought our own copies. Although the age group is stated as 2-5, these can be enjoyed by older children, too, when they learn to read on their own. So can grown-ups.

Iza Trapani has written similar books based on many other familiar rhymes and songs. I am a Little Teapot, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Here we go round the Mulberry Bush, and many more. All equally enjoyable.

Images: Courtesy Charlesbridge Publishing. 


Choxbox said...

Sounds hilarious! Beware - your bookshelves just might get burgled!

utbtkids said...

This is cute stuff.

Reminds me of a place we visited in the Bay Area, its called Fairyland, the whole place is based on nursery rhymes. They had actual sets of The three little pigs, Old woman in a shoe, Mary had a little lamb, Jack and Jill, Mary Mary quite contrary.....

Sheela said...

So glad you shared this here, Sandhya! Two of the oft-pulled-from-shelf books of Ana's are The True Story of Red Riding Hood and The True Story of Goldilocks - Novelty books - that give a different spin on the popular tale, not to mention the little pop-ups and envelopes and notes and other things to fiddle with...

I am sure these would be fun for Ana to read, and maybe even add her own spin to the stories behind the ubiquitous nursery rhymes :)

sandhya said...

@Choxbox: So when do I expect you?:)

@utbt: Fairyland sounds wonderful. Are there any pics you can share?

@Sheela: We have one about the true story behind the Billy goats Gruff- from the troll's point of view, and yes, it is hilarious. Will try to find the ones you have written about.

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