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Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short, Sweet, and Silly

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Nine weighty literary classics are transformed into delectable morsels with Scott Nash’s playful versification and whimsical illustration. Can’t stomach all of Frankenstein? Lacking the strength to read The Odyssey? Don’t have 1,001 nights to get through Scheherazade’s ordeal? Never fear, Shrunken Treasures are here! Nine of the world’s best-known stories and books have bee Nine weighty literary classics are transformed into delectable morsels with Scott Nash’s playful versification and whimsical illustration. Can’t stomach all of Frankenstein? Lacking the strength to read The Odyssey? Don’t have 1,001 nights to get through Scheherazade’s ordeal? Never fear, Shrunken Treasures are here! Nine of the world’s best-known stories and books have been reduced, like slowly simmered cherries, to tart and tasty mouthfuls. Lighthearted verse turns Moby-Dick into a simple nursery song. Outrageous color makes even gloomy Hamlet seem like fun. Riotous images transform Jane Eyre’s ordeal into a whirlwind adventure. The Metamorphosis, Remembrance of Things Past, Don Quixote, and others have all been delivered from dense duty to delightful ditty in Scott Nash’s collection of hallowed classics, featuring notes about the original texts at the end.


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Nine weighty literary classics are transformed into delectable morsels with Scott Nash’s playful versification and whimsical illustration. Can’t stomach all of Frankenstein? Lacking the strength to read The Odyssey? Don’t have 1,001 nights to get through Scheherazade’s ordeal? Never fear, Shrunken Treasures are here! Nine of the world’s best-known stories and books have bee Nine weighty literary classics are transformed into delectable morsels with Scott Nash’s playful versification and whimsical illustration. Can’t stomach all of Frankenstein? Lacking the strength to read The Odyssey? Don’t have 1,001 nights to get through Scheherazade’s ordeal? Never fear, Shrunken Treasures are here! Nine of the world’s best-known stories and books have been reduced, like slowly simmered cherries, to tart and tasty mouthfuls. Lighthearted verse turns Moby-Dick into a simple nursery song. Outrageous color makes even gloomy Hamlet seem like fun. Riotous images transform Jane Eyre’s ordeal into a whirlwind adventure. The Metamorphosis, Remembrance of Things Past, Don Quixote, and others have all been delivered from dense duty to delightful ditty in Scott Nash’s collection of hallowed classics, featuring notes about the original texts at the end.

30 review for Shrunken Treasures: Literary Classics, Short, Sweet, and Silly

  1. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    You can't get much more classical yet condensed than this. Imagine 585 page Moby Dick whittled down to two pages of verse, sung to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." The huge Odyssey shrunken to a seven verse poem that begins, "No wussie was Ulysses." And if you've always wanted to read the immense (I'm talking 4,215 pages!) Remembrance of Things Past, here is your opportunity; it has been compressed into one sixteen word sentence. Lots of short, sweet, silly fun. You can't get much more classical yet condensed than this. Imagine 585 page Moby Dick whittled down to two pages of verse, sung to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb." The huge Odyssey shrunken to a seven verse poem that begins, "No wussie was Ulysses." And if you've always wanted to read the immense (I'm talking 4,215 pages!) Remembrance of Things Past, here is your opportunity; it has been compressed into one sixteen word sentence. Lots of short, sweet, silly fun.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pj Gaumond

    I loved this book, going to be difficult to give it up. Imagine reading a condensed or shrunken piece of classic literature to the tune of a much loved nursery rhyme. It was fun to try to remember the lyrics of the nursery rhyme so I could put the words to the classic story. I definitely recommend this book to anyone with kids or even for a really good laugh. I am stating that I did win this book through Goodreads.

  3. 4 out of 5

    paula

    Gr 3-6 -- Nine literary masterpieces, from The Odyssey to The Metamorphosis, have been shoved through Scott Nash’s Versizer machine, which uses “style, spice, and illustration to carefully and painlessly reduce big, thick, voluminous literary works to children’s verse.” It’s cute, for sure. Adult readers will admire the deft way that the author has sidestepped violence in some works and happy-ending-ized others. Hamlet, for example, is a Great Dane who digs lots of holes - the one he digs for Op Gr 3-6 -- Nine literary masterpieces, from The Odyssey to The Metamorphosis, have been shoved through Scott Nash’s Versizer machine, which uses “style, spice, and illustration to carefully and painlessly reduce big, thick, voluminous literary works to children’s verse.” It’s cute, for sure. Adult readers will admire the deft way that the author has sidestepped violence in some works and happy-ending-ized others. Hamlet, for example, is a Great Dane who digs lots of holes - the one he digs for Ophelia is a swimming pool. Whether these stories work for kids depends on the strength of the verse - one or two run on a bit long, some are burdened with lots of scene changes and new characters (Jane Eyre), but others rip right through the meat of the work with humor and color. The Odyssey, Moby-Dick, and Remembrance of Things Past are particularly witty. Cartoony digital art brings the characters to life and keeps the tone perky. —Paula Willey

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Mattmiller

    *I have to disclose that I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway- but that in no way affects my review!* This book is so fun! I enjoyed the adaptations of the classics- put into fun, rhyming poems (in some cases, even set to a tune!) The pictures are fun, and whimsical! Kids might enjoy the poems and pictures, but obviously wouldn't have the background knowledge of the stories. Classic book lovers will love it though! Definitely a fun read- especially with the illustrations! *I have to disclose that I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway- but that in no way affects my review!* This book is so fun! I enjoyed the adaptations of the classics- put into fun, rhyming poems (in some cases, even set to a tune!) The pictures are fun, and whimsical! Kids might enjoy the poems and pictures, but obviously wouldn't have the background knowledge of the stories. Classic book lovers will love it though! Definitely a fun read- especially with the illustrations!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    *I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway* This was a very cute an enjoyable book to read. The stories will only be humorous if you already know the actual literary stories that are being referenced, but even if you don't know the stories, it is still fun to read the rhymes and look at the pictures. My 3-year-old enjoyed it as well. *I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway* This was a very cute an enjoyable book to read. The stories will only be humorous if you already know the actual literary stories that are being referenced, but even if you don't know the stories, it is still fun to read the rhymes and look at the pictures. My 3-year-old enjoyed it as well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    Fun and cheeky rhymed verse compressions of literary classics. Nash's job on Proust is particularly witty but his summary of Hamlet is inaccurate. Fun and cheeky rhymed verse compressions of literary classics. Nash's job on Proust is particularly witty but his summary of Hamlet is inaccurate.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lorie

    Scott Nash uses his “versizer” to shrink down the plots of 9 well-known literary classics into funny and amusing verses. The most amazing is his reduction of Proust’s seven volume long “Remembrance of Things Past" into a two line stanza poem. The concept is canny and clever, the reading level would work for middle school age readers, and they may find them amusing and then hopefully curious about the actual works themselves. I believe this title would also be of interest to teens and adults who Scott Nash uses his “versizer” to shrink down the plots of 9 well-known literary classics into funny and amusing verses. The most amazing is his reduction of Proust’s seven volume long “Remembrance of Things Past" into a two line stanza poem. The concept is canny and clever, the reading level would work for middle school age readers, and they may find them amusing and then hopefully curious about the actual works themselves. I believe this title would also be of interest to teens and adults who have read or are familiar with the story. The real appreciation for the cleverness of the verses would be to that secondary teen/adult market. The digitally created illustrations bring life to the text and add greatly to Nash’s rhymes. Book extras include a description of the “versizer” and what it does, a Table of Contents, and a page talking about each of the nine stories and process Nash undertook to minimize the story. I would highly recommend this book for purchase by middle/high school libraries and public libraries. This book was provided by the publisher for professional review by SWON Libraries.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Classic tales transformed into nursery rhymes ie Moby Dick sung to Mary had a little lamb. Other classics re-written (versified) include The Odyssey, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, 1001 Nights, Hamlet, Don Quixote, the Metamorphosis, remembrance of things past - "I dipped a sweet cake in my tea, And a whole world came back to me" Classic tales transformed into nursery rhymes ie Moby Dick sung to Mary had a little lamb. Other classics re-written (versified) include The Odyssey, Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, 1001 Nights, Hamlet, Don Quixote, the Metamorphosis, remembrance of things past - "I dipped a sweet cake in my tea, And a whole world came back to me"

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Rhyming text takes the essence of classic stories, adds some humor, and quirky illustrations to bring these stories to a new audience. However, those familiar with the originals may also enjoy these mini-versions. Dust jacket is different from the cover - full-color illustrations are digitally-rendered. A description of each story is provided in the back.

  10. 5 out of 5

    bet mercer

    Wanted to like it more. But some of the rhymes follow the actual stories, while others change characters into animals in a way that's a little confusing for relating to the original stories. I wish the author would have been consistent. It's definitely clever, so is worth checking out. Wanted to like it more. But some of the rhymes follow the actual stories, while others change characters into animals in a way that's a little confusing for relating to the original stories. I wish the author would have been consistent. It's definitely clever, so is worth checking out.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meg McGregor

    I guess I just didn't get it! Definitely not my cup of tea... or book! I guess I just didn't get it! Definitely not my cup of tea... or book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Boring old long classics to two pages of illustrated poetry?! Sold!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Love picture books? Love literature? Love the idea of loving literature? Shrunken Treasures might be just right for you. Here's why: Scott Nash has condensed nine literary works into verse 'for children.' (I'm not absolutely convinced that this one is truly for children, and that it will be appreciated by children.) Am I convinced that it can and will be appreciated by adults? It's much easier to say YES to that one. So which books are condensed? The Odyssey Frankenstein Moby-Dick Jane Eyre A Thousa Love picture books? Love literature? Love the idea of loving literature? Shrunken Treasures might be just right for you. Here's why: Scott Nash has condensed nine literary works into verse 'for children.' (I'm not absolutely convinced that this one is truly for children, and that it will be appreciated by children.) Am I convinced that it can and will be appreciated by adults? It's much easier to say YES to that one. So which books are condensed? The Odyssey Frankenstein Moby-Dick Jane Eyre A Thousand and One Nights Hamlet Don Quixote The Metamorphosis Remembrance of Things Past I believe two of these can be sung to nursery rhyme tunes. Not all were written with singing in mind. The shortest of the condensed works is Remembrance of Things Past. How "useful" are these condensed stories? (I mean "useful" for students wanting to avoid reading the originals for their school assignments.) Not very! But I'm not complaining about that...at all. Hamlet, for example, is about a dog--a Great Dane--with a habit of digging holes. A Thousand and One Nights stars a tiger and a mouse. Don Quixote covers about one or possibly two chapters of a very, very long novel. I enjoyed this one. I didn't love, love, love it. I think one thing that kept me from loving it was the fact that I didn't really "like" the illustrations.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    SHRUNKEN TREASURES: LITERARY CLASSICS, SHORT, SWEET and SILLY Written and illustrated by Scott Nash 2016; 40 Pages Candlewick Press Genre: classics, abridged, children's, picture book 4 STARS Nash takes on some well known - long - classics and makes them into poems. I am not sure children will appreciate them as much as adults, but they will love the wonderful illustrations and sing song poems. (Ages 5-7) SHRUNKEN TREASURES: LITERARY CLASSICS, SHORT, SWEET and SILLY Written and illustrated by Scott Nash 2016; 40 Pages Candlewick Press Genre: classics, abridged, children's, picture book 4 STARS Nash takes on some well known - long - classics and makes them into poems. I am not sure children will appreciate them as much as adults, but they will love the wonderful illustrations and sing song poems. (Ages 5-7)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Most children of the mid to upper elementary grades and possibly middle school as well have probably not heard of the literary works presented here in this unique "versified" format, but now they'll have some inkling thanks to these witty presentations. Some are meant to read, some are meant to be sung to familiar melodies but all are sure to tickle the senses for readers. Even adults will appreciate these amusing takes on some familiar works along with the marvelous illustrations. A second volu Most children of the mid to upper elementary grades and possibly middle school as well have probably not heard of the literary works presented here in this unique "versified" format, but now they'll have some inkling thanks to these witty presentations. Some are meant to read, some are meant to be sung to familiar melodies but all are sure to tickle the senses for readers. Even adults will appreciate these amusing takes on some familiar works along with the marvelous illustrations. A second volume of these "treasures" would be welcome. What is wonderful about humorous verse for children is it takes away the scariness of poetry, showing that it can actually be fun.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    Short, kid-friendly introductions to classic literature. I like the approach; there's a lot of very well crafted language here, especially in the selections about Jane Eyre and Moby-Dick with their accompanying nursery rhyme tunes. The creative decisions made to make this a kid-friendly look at these pieces of literature made sense and gave me Wishbone vibes (from the popular 90s TV show). Following the stories is a brief synopsis of each book along with some discussion about how the author prese Short, kid-friendly introductions to classic literature. I like the approach; there's a lot of very well crafted language here, especially in the selections about Jane Eyre and Moby-Dick with their accompanying nursery rhyme tunes. The creative decisions made to make this a kid-friendly look at these pieces of literature made sense and gave me Wishbone vibes (from the popular 90s TV show). Following the stories is a brief synopsis of each book along with some discussion about how the author presented it in text. Digital illustrations; the artwork targets a much younger audience than could read the book, though I see this as one for sharing one-on-one anyway. Grades 3 and up.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    I won this book in a GoodReads Giveaway. I think this will a nice book to have in my classroom library. The author has taken nine literary classics and condensed them into much shorter poems and songs. The book is digitally illustrated with bold, colorful, humorous artwork. This could be a fun way to introduce these classic works to younger kids. There is more information on each of them at the back of the book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie

    What a clever title for this anthology of "shrunken" classics for children. Shrunken Treasures reworks some of literatures best known classics and uses illustrations and a dash of humor to present them to younger audiences. There is also a brief synopsis at the back of book of each classic giving more insight into the work and its author. A wonderful introduction into some of the literary heavy hitters, a perfect gateway for elementary aged children. What a clever title for this anthology of "shrunken" classics for children. Shrunken Treasures reworks some of literatures best known classics and uses illustrations and a dash of humor to present them to younger audiences. There is also a brief synopsis at the back of book of each classic giving more insight into the work and its author. A wonderful introduction into some of the literary heavy hitters, a perfect gateway for elementary aged children.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Guerfi

    The author has taken classics such as The Odyssey, Frankenstein, and Hamlet, just to name a few and given them a special reintroduction for kids. Each one is done with wit and humor and some are even set to the rhythm of old nursery rhymes. The illustrations that accompany the book are delightful and vivid and overall this is a great choice for anyone who is interested in bringing classic literature into a young child's life but not sure how to begin. A definite recommend. The author has taken classics such as The Odyssey, Frankenstein, and Hamlet, just to name a few and given them a special reintroduction for kids. Each one is done with wit and humor and some are even set to the rhythm of old nursery rhymes. The illustrations that accompany the book are delightful and vivid and overall this is a great choice for anyone who is interested in bringing classic literature into a young child's life but not sure how to begin. A definite recommend.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A fun way to introduce my daughters to some literary classics that I hope they will eventually read (like Jane Eyre) and to capture about all I care to know about some other literary classics I have no intention of reading (like Proust.) Clever and cute for me as an adult lover of literature; enchanting enough that my daughters asked me to read/sing the Jane Eyre song twice and had all sorts of questions about the pictures (who is the crazy lady in the attic?) Didn't disappoint! A fun way to introduce my daughters to some literary classics that I hope they will eventually read (like Jane Eyre) and to capture about all I care to know about some other literary classics I have no intention of reading (like Proust.) Clever and cute for me as an adult lover of literature; enchanting enough that my daughters asked me to read/sing the Jane Eyre song twice and had all sorts of questions about the pictures (who is the crazy lady in the attic?) Didn't disappoint!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Thomas

    This was a great take on some very popular literary pieces. Stories such as The Odyssey have been condensed into shorter storied using poetry. I think it was a very great book, especially for middle elementary aged kids. It is a great way to incorporate poetry and introduce them to profound pieces of literature.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Heydi Smith

    A delightful and original look at some very famous classics turned to short verse. Hamlet was my favorite. I appreciated the notes at the end which explained what the full version classics are about. This was helpful since I've never read Remembrance of Things Past. Hope there will be more like this. A delightful and original look at some very famous classics turned to short verse. Hamlet was my favorite. I appreciated the notes at the end which explained what the full version classics are about. This was helpful since I've never read Remembrance of Things Past. Hope there will be more like this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    This is brilliant! When I first opened it I found it to be too text-heavy until I realized that I could "read" The Odyssey in a few quick pages or get the story of Moby Dick by singing its cute song! Excellent quick and silly summaries of the classics we know and love... and now kids will know and love them, too! This is brilliant! When I first opened it I found it to be too text-heavy until I realized that I could "read" The Odyssey in a few quick pages or get the story of Moby Dick by singing its cute song! Excellent quick and silly summaries of the classics we know and love... and now kids will know and love them, too!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen Dubke

    Laugh out loud! This book takes some classic literature, like the Odyssey and Hamlet, and simplifies it into a poem or song. Moby-Dick to the tune of Mary had a little lamb? Yes thank you! It is the children's book you didn't know you needed in your life. Laugh out loud! This book takes some classic literature, like the Odyssey and Hamlet, and simplifies it into a poem or song. Moby-Dick to the tune of Mary had a little lamb? Yes thank you! It is the children's book you didn't know you needed in your life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    I think this book was written for me and made my English Major/Storytime heart very happy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather Jo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. megan spring reading 2016, children's book, nonfiction, poetry, literary classics, humor, prek, kindergarten, first grade, megan summer reading 2016, megan spring reading 2016, children's book, nonfiction, poetry, literary classics, humor, prek, kindergarten, first grade, megan summer reading 2016,

  27. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    A must read for literature fans everywhere: Classic Stories told to the tune of nursery rhymes!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bridgette

    Some were more adorable than others (Hamlet was probably my favorite; Hamlet as a Great Dane digging holes was hilarious). A cute, quick read with engaging rhymes.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jill Cd

    This is a wonderful springboard to introduce kids to the Classics. Fun!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    A fun and quirky combination of classics, poetry, and even a few songs mixed in for good measure. The classics have never looked so festive, but they're sure to catch an eye or two! A fun and quirky combination of classics, poetry, and even a few songs mixed in for good measure. The classics have never looked so festive, but they're sure to catch an eye or two!

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