I realised that I haven’t been writing much about children’s books lately, what with one thing and another, so I’ll try to rectify that over the next little while.
A book that has been keeping fils cadet amused for the last little while is Mixed Up Nursery Rhymes by Hilary Robinson and illustrated by Liz Pichon (Hodder Children’s, 2013) – it even kept him entertained in the dentist’s waiting room and given how worried he was that’s quite an achievement. Like many of the best ideas, it is very simple: each page is split into three so that you can muddle up the beginnings, middles and ends of twelve well-known nursery rhymes. “Little Miss Muffett went up the hill to fetch an army of ten thousand men,” for example. The bright and cheerful illustrations add to its appeal.
It is a follow up to Mixed Up Fairy Tales by the same author, but illustrated by Nick Sharratt (Hodder Children’s, 2005), which this morning we also found in the library, and which works in the same way, naturally enough. A slight difference between the two books is that the Fairy Tales start muddled up while the Nursery Rhymes start off right. Either way, there’s lots of fun to be had in making crazy versions of your own.
One niggle with these books is their spiral binding – it makes for easy turning of pages, but also for easy ripping-out of flaps. Fairy Tales, being an older book and in the library system for longer, has lost quite a few. Given the boys’ methodical natures, I foresee ructions when they can’t make the right versions of all the stories too.
That aside, they are highly entertaining.