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A Volume of Nursery Rhymes From The World Over: Over The Hills And Far Away

There’s a nursery rhyme that goes:

Abna babna


Ocean potion

Sugar and tea

Potato roast

And English toast

Out she goes

Carribean counting-out rhyme

Or a South African rhyme that goes delightfully like this:

Eena, deena, duna, do

Catla, weena,wina, wo

Each peach, pear,plum

Out goes Tom-Thumb

South African counting out rhyme

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Or another gem of an English rhyme that goes:

Oranges and lemons

Say the bells of St.Clements

Pancakes and fritters

Say the bells of St.Peters

Two sticks and an apple

Say the bells of Whitechapel

Pokers and tongs

Say the bells of St.Johns

Elizabeth Hammil has joyfully collected, curated and got some of the world’s best illustrators to render nursery rhymes from the world over. Canadian Inuit illustrator Andrew Qappick, Native American artist Allison Francisco, Eric Carle,

Over The Hills And Far Away has  poems from China, Africa, Latin-America, England, Jamaican, Australian, India, New Zealand, Canada and American.

Hammil has for instance collated versions of Little Miss. Muffet from around the globe.

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The book was supported by African-American storyteller called Ashley Bryan who gave Ms. Hammil a great deal of material and encouragement to go on. Eric Carle generously allowed the use of his illustrations for the ladybird fly away poem. Publisher Frances Lincoln  published the book when the project was abandoned for a few years. Elizabeth’s own abiding love for children and her passion for helping children read from diverse cultural sources pushed the project onward.

The result is a rich tapestry of rhymes from most corners of the world that children will enjoy. They will also open their eyes to the many-hued usage and vocabulary of the English language from all over the world, Over the Hills and Far Away.

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