Rhyme Time is an unconventional illustrated book for children and all those with a healthy relationship to their inner child. Imaginatively combining retro images with new rhymes, the book brings visual nostalgia and the traditions of children’s verse up to date. The illustrations are 1960s line drawings Packham carefully colored-in as a child in 1988; now, more than 30 years later, he has rearranged these vibrant images into playful stories and captured them in rhyme. The unexpected results are both original tales, like that of Humphrey who chased a pesky elf from his garden with a cricket bat, and tongue-in-cheek reinterpretations of beloved fairy tales and nursery rhymes—if Snow White isn’t actually the fairest in the land, then who is? And why did Jack and Jill really climb that steep and nasty hill?
“Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who’s the fairest of them all?”
“Well well, cruel queen,” the mirror said,
Despite the crown upon your head
And all the riches you may own—
Your fur-lined slippers, golden throne,
Your snappy clothes and shoes, your jewels,
Your palaces with swimming pools—
I find you ugly, far from nice:
In fact you’ve got a heart of ice!