Hey, Diddle, Diddle by Salley Mavor – Book Review

Hey, Diddle, Diddle by Salley MavorHey, Diddle, Diddle by Salley Mavor is an illustrated book based on the familiar children’s nursery rhyme.

With many other books based on the same nursery rhyme, the success of Salley Mavor’s version is based solely on the pictures.

Mavor does not rely on hand drawings or color paintings common in other children’s books. Rather, she uses fabric to create the illustrations on each page.

Every element is a built from pieces of fabric. On the first page, the flowers, the grass, the sky, and even the children are all built out of fabric.

Unfortunately, readers cannot actually feel the textures or the materials. Each page looks like a high resolution picture of the original fabric sets.

Whereas I liked the intricate detail of pages with different elements, Arya liked the picture of the big cow. She also kept trying to touch the book.

Both my baby and I would have loved the book if Hey, Diddle, Diddle came in a more expensive version with actual pieces of fabric. As designed, the illustrations are a bit disappointing as they simply entice kids to touch the plain, flat page.

With the text taken directly from the famous children’s nursery rhyme there is nothing that distinguishes this version of the story from any other. I do not like the choice of font. The lowercase “j” looks too similar to the lowercase “i” and the lowercase “t” looks the same as the uppercase “l”. While not meaningful for babies as young as Arya, confusing fonts make it very hard for beginning readers to learn letters and words.

Salley Mavor has a personal blog with links to her studio, agency, and favorite bookstore selling autographed copies of her books. Fans can read through more than three years of posts and hundreds of pictures of her designs.

Hey, Diddle, Diddle costs (including shipping) $5.95 new or $3.99 used from Amazon.