Newbery Award honoree Ashley Bryan has hand-selected a collection of celebrated English poet Christina Rossetti’s poems to illustrate with his inimitable flourish.
The world changes so quickly, but the joy and fun of being a child always remains. Christina Rossetti’s classic nursery rhymes have embodied the simple essence of childhood for centuries, and now award-winning illustrator Ashley Bryan brings new life to them with this wonderfully illustrated selection of Rossetti’s poetry.
Bryan’s bright and intricate collage art perfectly complement Rossetti’s simple text, and together they create a vibrant book for both kids—and kids at heart.
Bryan illustrates late-19th-century poems by Rossetti with intricate cut-paper shapes that combine bold images with blazing color. Rossetti's poems record encounters with nature in cadences and rhyme schemes reminiscent of nursery verse. Some are well-known ("Who has seen the wind?/ Neither I nor you"), while others are more obscure ("I dreamt I caught a little owl/ And the bird was blue"). Bryan creates motion and grandness with cut paper throughout, in one landscape spread using strips of undulating gray to make ocean waves ("The wind has such a rainy sound"). Elsewhere, a peacock displays its tail in full glory, the blue feathers highlighted with red and yellow cut-outs ("The peacock has a score of eyes,/ with which he cannot see"). Exuberant art complements these well-regarded poems, revealing their perhaps undervalued playfulness. Ages 4 8.