“Mes jolies comptines à écouter”, a book and CD of classic French nursery rhymes is now in the bookshops in Quebec, Canada. Published by Auzou in Paris, France, the large format board book comes with a CD of 10 songs arranged by Maryse Letarte, an accomplished musician and singer from Montreal. This book aims to reintroduce these traditional rhymes with a contemporary flavor to a new generation of young children in the province.
I did the illustrations last spring using several new techniques, adding texture and brush strokes to gain more depth in the art. It was a great project to do since I did not know many of the songs (I am from an English background) but my children did (they were educated in the French language school system). Through research I learned all kinds of interesting facts about the origins of the nursery rhymes. Often the songs were ways of expressing social injustices, hiding ribald messages or ridiculing the upper classes.