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My very first Mother Goose /

A collection of more than sixty nursery rhymes including "Hey Diddle, Diddle, " "Pat-a-Cake, " "Little Jack Horner, " and "Pussycat, Pussycat." Full description

Other Authors: Opie, Iona Archibald., Wells, Rosemary,
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Candlewick Press, 1996
Edition: First U.S. edition.
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To a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form. From "Hey Diddle, Diddle" and "Pat-a-Cake" to "Little Jack Horner" and "Pussycat, Pussycat," these are familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations; these are the rhymes that are every child's birthright.

With watercolors by Rosemary Wells that may prove equally enduring, MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE captures the simple joy and the sly humor that are the essence of Mother Goose. Parents and children will find themselves exploring this volume together, savoring delightful details and funny surprises on every page. This is a book that promises hours of quiet smiles and merry grins for readers of all ages.

Review by Booklist Review

Ages 1^-4. With the same combination of warmth and wickedness that made My Very First Mother Goose (1996) such fun for young preschoolers, folklorist Opie and illustrator Wells have collected another 55 nursery rhymes in a splendid, large-size companion volume. As Opie says in her brief, beautiful introduction, Mother Goose collected nonsense, clever riddles, and "the songs that run in people's heads and make them skip instead of walk." There are old favorites as well as some lively traditional verses that will be new to most kids and the adults who read to them. And there are a few changes for the millennium: Opie reverses the rhyme about what little girls and little boys are made of, and Wells shows them all having fun. Take a new look at Mary, Mary, who really is quite contrary in Wells' mischievous view. The pictures include a few people, but most of the characters are animals: ducklings, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, and the soft, sleepy "donkey, donkey, old and gray." There is yearning and mystery: a young girl ignores her mother's warning, jumps on a horse, and is lured away to the dark woods. In contrast, there's the furry guinea pig with a plate of hot-cross buns in front of the fireplace, snug at home. Best of all, though, is the double-page spread with a curt verse and a large picture of one mean, messy rabbit: "I'm Dusty Bill / From Vinegar Hill / Never had a bath / And I never will." --Hazel Rochman

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In this exuberant anthology, Opie and Wells choose the best of Mother Goose's ageless work and polish it to a brilliant shine: more than 60 rhymes appear here in four chapters of large, toddler-friendly type. And for those who thought there were no new feathers to be plucked from this goose, Wells's rich watercolor interpretations, simultaneously classic and contemporary, are a revelation. Readers will probably agree with Opie's prefatory remark: "I firmly believe that Rosemary Wells is Mother Goose's second cousin and has inherited the family point of view." Her cast of bushy bunnies (think Max and Ruby), classy cats and the occasional human interact with a combination of wit, charm and ingenuity: Humpty Dumpty, for example, is a soft-boiled egg, knocked accidentally-on-purpose to the floor by a boy bunny at the breakfast table. Also striking‘and appropriate for the intended audience‘are the numerous scenes of adults and children working and playing together. The cozy, well-appointed settings and loving gestures project a reassuring intimacy. Wells also makes full use of an extended trim size. She encircles rhymes with spots of art, as in the Hungarian-style cat violinists that surround the text of "Hey diddle, diddle," or embellishes spreads with panels, identifying pig breeds in her depiction of "Whose little pigs are these?" and naming a few constellations alongside "Star light, star bright." Each rhyme begins with a sprightly decorated initial: a golden pear hangs from the "I" in "I had a little nut tree." Motifs recur subtly and purposefully, encouraging close inspection of the pages. A collaboration that both freshens and preserves the past, this volume deserves a prominent place not just in the nursery room but on the shelves of all who treasure illustrated books. Ages 2-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-K‘The 60 plus rhymes in this collection are mostly the old-time favorites, but include some more recent ones such as "Shoo Fly" and "Down by the Station." Wells illustrates the selections with her usual winsome, quirky, anthropomorphic mice, rabbits, cats, pigs, bears, etc., and even includes some people. The lavish ink-and-watercolors are filled with action and delightful details. Ranging in size from tiny vignettes to double-page spreads, they are arranged on the pages in a variety of ways to complement the text. The typeface is large and very clear. Such a spirit of fun and pleasure emanates from every page of this big, handsome volume that although there are many distinguished entries in the nursery-rhyme book field, this one is sure to add special joy to any collection.‘Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Iona Margaret Opie was born on October 13, 1923. During World War II, she made meteorological maps in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. She married Peter Opie in 1943. Together they collected children's rhymes, riddles, and street culture. Their books included I Saw Esau, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, Children's Games in Street and Playground, and The Classic Fairy Tales.

After her husband's death in 1982, she continued the work alone. Her books included The People in the Playground, Tail Feathers from Mother Goose, Here Comes Mother Goose, A Dictionary of Superstitions, and Children's Games with Things. Her son Robert collaborated with her on The Treasures of Childhood. She was made CBE in 1999. She died on October 23, 2017 at the age of 94.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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