NoHo LA MagazinePicture this: Edward Gorey, Tim Burton and the Brothers Grimm get together over snifters of absinthe to collaborate on a children's nursery book. The result might look something like author Gris Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhymes, a slim, sly compendium of "charmless tales" for kiddies who would have rather listened to Marilyn Manson than Mozart in the womb. Anyone who knows children knows their squeals of delight at wickedness and naughtiness, all in fun, as a way of reinforcing our society's taboos.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklyGrimly (Monster Museum) styles himself as a goth cousin to Mother Goose and Santa Claus. His introduction, "Father Grim," pictures a sinister Jack the Ripper in a herringbone overcoat and pointy shoes, toting candy canes and a teddy bear with a missing eye: "Gris Grimly travels near and far to find where naughty children are./ He searches for them in the night, instructing them with tales of fright." Grimly doesn't match the meter of the original rhymes. Instead, he gives their plots a morbid twist. When Jack and Jill, for example, go to fetch a pail of water: "Jill pushed Jack unto his death/ when he had paused to catch his breath./ She felt remorse for the first time/ and threw herself not far behind." Little Bo Peep stands on a hill littered with animal skulls: " `I think I have too many sheep,'/ said a girl named Little Bo Peep./ .../ She thought about what should be done,/ and then went on to eat each one." Showing the characters as malicious punks with heavy eyelids and hunchback postures, Grimly's spidery ink drawings to some degree recall Dave McKean's macabre work in Coraline and the delicate, mortuary-chic style of Tim Burton. Yet Grimly ends up being nasty for nastiness's sake alone. His playground efforts mock the wholesome formula, but they lack the smart, self-consciously parodic wit of the Series of Unfortunate Events or Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies. Ages 13-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-6-These takeoffs on standard nursery rhymes have all the subtlety of grade school and adolescent gross-out jokes. For example, the true story of Jack and Jill is one of murder: "Jill pushed Jack unto his death/when he had paused to catch his breath./She felt remorse for the first time/and threw herself not far behind." Bo Peep complains about her sheep and then "She thought about what should be done,/and then went on to eat each one." The illustrations are stylized and dark, reminiscent of Tim Burton's animated characters. Nursery rhymes have been parodied to brilliant satirical effect in Eve Merriam's Inner City Mother Goose (S & S, 1996). Jack Prelutsky's collections of eerie poems, such as Nightmares (1976) and The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight (1980, both Greenwillow), remain the scary poem gold standard. This collection is obvious and trite.-Kathleen Whalin, York Public Library, ME Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
- Baby Tattoo Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.84(w) x 7.56(h) x 0.24(d)
- Age Range:
- 13 - 17 Years
What People are saying about this
Clive BarkerGris Grimly�s Wicked Nursery Rhymes belongs at the bedside of every child who ever had a twisted thought (and every adult too!). Stylish, funny and gloriously ghoulish, it�s the perfect book for those of us who believe Halloween should be celebrated every week of the year.
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