Friday, October 26, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: To Market, To Market
Author/Illustrator: Anne Miranda/ Janet Stevens
Publisher/Date: Harcourt Brace & Company/ 1997
Genre/Audience: Fiction/Ages 4+
Themes: Nursery Rhymes

Opening: “To market, to market, to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again, jiggity jig!  To market, to market, to buy a red hen.  Home again... Uh-oh!  That pig left the pen."

Synopsis: From School Library Journal - What begins with the traditional serene nursery rhyme turns into a slapstick excursion filled with mishap and mayhem. A "fat pig" is not enough for this ambitious shopper. The elderly woman makes return trips to the market for a hen, trout, lamb, cow, duck, and goat. While she is acquiring more, her earlier purchases are wreaking havoc. Patterned, staccato verses tell the zany tale, but it is Stevens's wonderfully wild illustrations that bring it to life. The conventional home's interior is pictured in flat gray charcoal tones. The woman and her animals are colorful, oversized figures that burst off the pages. The collage technique allows for the contrasting colors and styles that magnify the uncontained boisterous fun of this very imaginative book. Visual format, repetition, and rhyme make this title an ideal choice for sharing aloud. It could also be used as a springboard for writing projects as children start with a familiar rhyme and make it their own. All-in-all, a delightful, albeit raucous, romp.  Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Why I Love This Book:
Where do I start?  This book is laugh-out-loud funny.  A nursery rhyme with a twist, kitchen mayhem, and exaggerated, colorful characters all make for a fabulous read-aloud.  Be ready to spend a lot of time examining the illustrations, which create a rich understory and the basis for much of this story's humor.

As the School Library Journal reviewer suggests, take a nursery rhyme and write what happens next.  What an extra challenge?  Make it rhyme!

A preschool site with musical nursery rhymes:

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. This book sounds hilarious. I love fractured fairy tales and nursery rhymes -- will have to look for this one.

  2. Cumulative verse, fractured nursery rhyme? Sounds fabulous!

  3. I love the front cover illustration, too! And can imagine the hilarity of this tale!

  4. Thanks for sharing, especially the description of the illustrations!

  5. This looks like such fun! So cool that it starts out so innocently, just like the original rhyme, and then chaos ensues. Love it!

    Thanks for adding it to our PPB collection!

  6. Thanks for sharing this great selection. I loved your site of Jack be Nimble. Great site for the kiddies. :)

  7. I like the cover and the rhyme! This book sounds like my kind of book - totally silly! :)

  8. My kids love it when my mom tells them old nursery rhymes. I'm sure they would find this book hilarious. I wonder if my library has it.

  9. The cover had me -- as did the fractured nursery rhyme. What a fun and unusual take. Love it!