________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 4 . . . . October 12, 2007


Out Came the Sun: A Day in Nursery Rhymes.

Heather Collins.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2007.
96 pp., hardcover, $24.95.
ISBN 978-1-55337-881-5.

Subject Heading:
Nursery rhymes.

Preschool-grade 1 / Birth-age 6.

Review by Gregory Bryan.

*** /4


This little cow eats grass,
This little cow eats hay,
This little cow drinks water,
This little cow runs away,
And this little cow does nothing but lie around all day.


Out Came the Sun: A Day in Nursery Rhymes is an intriguing mix of well-known and lesser-known nursery rhymes. In all, the book contains 45 nursery rhymes, including “Hickory, Dickory, Dock,” “To Market, to Market,” “Jack and Jill,” “Round and Round the Garden” and “Little Miss Muffet.” All are attractively illustrated with playful, full colour watercolour paintings.

     The sturdy presentation of the book is ideal for hands young and old. Certainly, parents and grandparents will enjoy sharing these nursery rhymes with the young people in their lives. Young children will also enjoy flicking through the book, following the story depicted in the illustrations.

internal art

     The nursery rhymes were selected and illustrated by Heather Collins. She has skillfully wound the selections together with her artwork. As the subtitle of the book suggests, the nursery rhymes are presented as the story of a day. A group of stuffed animal toys begin their day with the call of the cock robin. They then proceed to enjoy porridge and pancakes for breakfast before venturing outdoors for a series of activities. A number of the characters then set off on a train ride to town to get some shoes mended before returning on the homebound train. After the evening meal, it is bath time and then bedtime. The young ones, however, sneak outside for some further fun under the moonlight before eventually returning to their beds to sleep.

     For the initial reading, I suggest a page-by-page exploration from front to back. The attached cloth bookmark will help readers to keep track of where they are up to. Out Came the Sun also contains an index at the back. The index suggests readers should also dip into the collection of nursery rhymes as they please, particularly after they have initially enjoyed reading the collection as the narrative of a day.

     I am confident that parents and grandparents will turn to Out Came the Sun again and again, introducing young loved ones to the beauty and rhythm of language through this carefully selected anthology of nursery rhymes. This book is a perfect read aloud text and will make a valuable addition to family libraries.


Gregory Bryan teaches children’s literature in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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