If you haven’t heard, the copyright has expired on some of A.A. Milne’s works and they are now in the public domain. So while you might be familiar with the poems in this picture book, I can guarantee you won’t have seen these illustrations before!
Rosemary Wells must have thought ahead for this poetry picture book collection. I bet she heard the copyright was going to expire and jumped on the publishing opportunity as soon as she could (since we all know that picture books can take years to get released). Of course Disney still owns the Pooh bear in the red shirt (illustrators, don’t copy that one!), but Wells goes all out with full color illustrations with her own interpretations for several poems from the original collection.
POEMS FROM WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG takes some of Rosemary Wells’ own favorite poems (from when she was very young and heard them the first time). She then illustrates them in her own unique style, but keeps them set in the UK. There are double decker red buses and kings and queens a plenty for every Anglophile (like myself). And while I think I see some digital textures included here (but I could be wrong!), I’m pretty sure the incomparable Rosemary Wells drew every line of these illustrations by hand.
I will share one poem, but it stretches out over several pages. Bear with me. (No pun intended.) I assume this is based on some sort of British-ism akin to our American “step on a crack and break your mama’s back” superstition about sidewalk lines I learned when I was very young.
And if you’re looking for more poetry fun this month, be sure to check out the Kidlitosphere Event Roundup!