Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes From 50 Celebrated Cartoonists

NurseryNursery Rhyme Comics
By: Various
Publisher: First Second Books
Hardcover, 10 x 8, full color, $18.99
ISBN: 978-1-59643-600-8

Some of the best moments of my childhood involved nursery rhymes. With a hairbrush or spatula in hand (an obvious storytelling-microphone in disguise) my mom acted out every nursery rhyme under the sun. And she was good at it. Magically, she would become a mouse running up a clock. The Queen of Hearts. Mary and her little lamb. Even the London Bridge would come falling down. In short, although my emergent literacy experiences as a child were unique to my mom's reenactment creativities, they were also pretty common. Most children end up hearing a nursery rhyme or two before they head off to school.

With an unknowing nod to my mother and all the other reenactment-inclined loved ones who once taught each of us a nursery rhyme or two, First Second Books offers today's children an entirely new set of nursery rhyme experiences: Fifty nursery rhymes by fifty noteworthy comic and graphic novel creators. A collection of reimagined and modernized nursery rhymes in comic book format, Nursery Rhyme Comics breathes new life into some of our favorite stories of all time.

From the text to the visuals, today's young readers and their loved can once again read, act out, and play with Nursery Rhyme Comics. When I brought this conversation-starter with me on a recent trip to visit my mom, for instance, we had a heck of a good time not only remembering, rethinking, and reenacting some of our classical favorites, but also critiquing and discovering some new and now refreshed favorites.

Whether a parent, a teacher, a librarian, or a loved one First Second Book's Nursery Rhyme Comics is sure to spark some life into the storyteller inside us all.

English Language Arts Elements of Story for Nursery Rhymes

Plot: 50 new nursery rhymes by 50 comic and graphic novel creators.

Traditional Literature Pairing Suggestions: Any traditional nursery rhyme

Some Teaching Recommendations For All Ages Suggested Alignment to the IRA /NCTE Standard(s):*

- standard #s correspond to the numbers used by IRA/NCTE

1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.

3. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Suggested Guided Reading Lesson Plan for All Ages:

• Before Reading

To begin, ask readers to choose two traditional nursery rhymes and two, similar Nursery Rhyme Comics. Once they have chosen two traditional nursery rhymes and two Nursery Rhyme Comics ask them to read each of them.

• During Reading

As they read their traditional nursery rhymes and their Nursery Rhyme Comics tell readers to think about or envision what it might look like to reenact each of the four nursery rhymes, without any words.

As they think about how they would visually reenact these nursery rhymes offer students two blank sheets of paper. Explain what it means to storyboard and ask each reader to choose one traditional nursery rhyme and one Nursery Rhyme Comic to storyboard; explain that storyboarding involves drawing one panel/box at a time (each panel/box advancing the story). Note: To storyboard students will need to draw an appropriate amount of panels/boxes for each of the important details from their two chosen nursery rhymes.

• After Reading

After they read and storyboard, allow students to share their reenactments with the class.

Katie Monnin, PhD, is an assistant professor of literacy at the University of North Florida and author of Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom (2010) from Maupin House. To learn more about Teaching Graphic Novels or Katie Monnin, please go to this link: http://www.maupinhouse.com/monnin.php.