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The Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster had me at hello.

How can you resist a story that begins with the line "Little Miss Muffet was bored"?

Little Miss Muffet was bored.

She was bored of being in the same old nursery rhyme and she'd had quite enough of that scary, little spider.

"What I need," she told herself, "is a change."

So off she went into the pages of the book to find another nursery rhyme to be in.

Miss Muffet tries joining the grand old Duke of York:

Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them and Miss Muffet up
to the top of the hill
and he marched them down again.

Turns out Miss Muffet doesn't like all the marching. Jack and Jill turns out to be too painful. Climbing up and sliding down a clock is too embarrassing. "Ding, dong, bell" finds her wet and unhappy; "Hey diddle, diddle" finds the dish unhappy after Miss Muffet runs away with the spoon, resulting in several pages of RUCKUS that gains momentum as it makes its way through Four and Twenty Blackbirds, the Queen of Hearts and more.

In the end, Little Miss Muffet returns to her usual story, only to recall why she'd wanted the change to begin with.

Picture book writers interested in form will appreciate this one's use of a circular story arc – the character ends up where she started, slightly wiser than when she set out in the first place. In this case, as you can see above, the text does not begin with Miss Muffet's nursery rhyme, although it tells us enough about it to remind us what her story is. The book ends, however, with her own nursery rhyme, with no text following her rhyme. Because of this, it practically invites child listeners to demand a second reading, since the commentary on page one logically follows a reading or recitation of Miss Muffet's rhyme.

Kiva - loans that change lives

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 21st, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Oh no! I'll have to check this out as I have a WIP KINDA similar (started as the true story of Humpty Dumpty, but had to change b/c so many of those came out last year). Thanks (I think - LOL) for the heads up, Kelly.
Aug. 21st, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
The Humpty Dumpty story figures briefly, although it turns out to be someone else who falls by that point, so much of a ruckus having broken out and all.

It's kind of a kinder, gentler, more-accessible-to-very-young-children take on fractured fairy tales (since it's nursery rhymes), and probably belongs in the same category as The Stinky Cheese Man.
Aug. 21st, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Lol. Clever idea :)
Aug. 21st, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
I did try to warn you in the Five on Friday list. And if you read the whole thing, you'd love it. It came out in 2008 in the U.K., and in the U.S. this year.
Aug. 21st, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Ooooh...this sounds GOOD. :)
Aug. 21st, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
It's terrifically well-done. Also made me slap myself in the forehead. Because really, I wish I'd thought of it.
Aug. 21st, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
*slapping myself on the head*

Yep, wish I had thought of it, too. Thanks for the heads up on this. Must see it!
Aug. 22nd, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
I did warn you. And yes, you really, really must see it. It rocks!
Aug. 22nd, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
I'll be on the lookout for this one. It sounds right up Sweetpea's alley!
Aug. 22nd, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
It came out in England in 2008, and in the US this year. It's pretty great!
Aug. 24th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
oh, neat. I want to read that. And I'm 27 :)
Aug. 24th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)
Cute icon!

And yeah, I love it, and I'm 45!
Aug. 25th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Aug. 25th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC)
I hope you and your girls get a chance to check it out. It really and truly is genius.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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