“The mood is insouciant glee. A treasure.” — _Kirkus Review_s (starred review) “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
That’s what children chant when they are being teased; it’s what their parents chanted, and their grandparents and their great-grandparents before them. Collected in this invaluable book are the wit and wisdom of generations of schoolchildren — more than one hundred and seventy rhymes ranging from insults and riddles to tongue twisters, jeers, and jump-rope rhymes. With Iona Opie’s introduction and detailed notes and Maurice Sendak’s remarkable pictures — vignettes, sequences, and full-page paintings both wickedly funny and comically sad — here is a book that deserves a place among the classic texts of childhood.
Iona Opie (1923-2017) dedicated her life to collecting and preserving children’s rhymes as an art form and believed that “nursery rhymes are good for you.” In partnership with her late husband, Peter Opie, she edited many acclaimed books of children’s folklore, including The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes.
Iona and Peter Opie were married in 1943 and worked together for nearly forty years, studying and writing about children’s lore and literature until Peter’s death in 1982. Among their collaborations is The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. Iona Opie lives in England.
Maurice Sendak received the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. In 1970 he received the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration, and he remains the only American ever awarded this honor. In 1983, Sendak received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award from the American Library Association, given in recognition of his entire body of work. He also received a 1996 National Medal of Arts in recognition of his contribution of arts in America.