Book Review: Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes from Around the World’

5th Mar 2015
Book Review: Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes from Around the World’

Seven Stories, Britain’s National Centre for Children’s Books, has released a stunning new compilation of children’s nursery rhymes and Kids 1st have been lucky enough to have been given a copy to review on World Book Day.

‘Over the Hills and Far Away: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes from Around the World’ was collected together by Elizabeth Hammill, the co-founder of the Seven Stories Centre. This comprehensive collection mixes well-loved nursery rhymes with less familiar stories from a diverse range of cultures.  Each double-page spread is illustrated by a different artist with young emerging talent sat alongside bestselling illustrators such as Axel Scheffler, who is best known for illustrating The Gruffalo.

Kids 1st Low Fell were eager to try out the new book.  Nursery Nurse, Mandeep Matharu, read the book with two groups of children one aged 2-3 years, the other 3-5 years.  Both sets of children enjoyed the book, their faces beaming with smiles as it was read aloud.  Everyone joined in enthusiastically with the nursery rhymes and sang along to the simple songs.  Afterwards, the children spoke energetically about their favourite parts of the book.  Each child had their own section that they liked most with the well-known rhymes proving the most popular.  However, the inclusion of the more unusual stories adds to the book’s longevity as when readers tire of the familiar tales they have the new stories to explore.

One of the book’s main attractions is the beautiful illustrations. The children loved the bright, colourful images and, as each page reveals different styles of painting or collages, their interest was maintained throughout. Also, as the illustrations are so detailed, there is something new to spot on each reading.

Nursery Manager Amy confirmed the book is a welcome addition to the nursery’s book collection. “It is a great book to read to children as they can join in with nursery rhymes and sing-a-long to the songs.”

All proceeds from the sales of Over the Hills and Far Away will be donated to Seven Stories with the money raised used to save, celebrate and share the wonderful world of children’s books.