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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Category Archives: mother goose

Mother Goose’s Little Treasures by Iona Opie and Rosemary Wells isn’t your mother’s Mother Goose. The collection consists of twenty-two Mother Goose rhymes plucked from obscurity by the world’s foremost Goose folklorist.

The book’s introduction bears a lovingly-crafted appearance, with an explanation of its origin. We learn the stories contained within are “the most mysterious fragments from our shared memory: long-ago laughter of little meaning and echoes of ancient spells.”

This sweet opening, in which Opie describes the rhymes as “confirmation that though we must live in the real world, we need to know the way to another world, where there are not limits and nothing is certain,” is the perfect description for the collection. It fills the reader with the want to see the rhymes operate on two levels, as stories for the present and as verbal heirlooms for future generations. By putting these to paper, one hopes they’re no longer shut in the minds of readers, but repeated, chanted, and sung aloud.

Hopefully, this is the case, as this collection is absolutely charming. The rhymes vary in length, and soft illustrations by famed children’s author Rosemary Wells of Max and Ruby fame accompany them. I found the images highly appealing – the colors are still varied, but soft and not harsh to baby’s gentle eyes.

The rhymes themselves are fun and whimsical, capturing the very essence that is Mother Goose. When read aloud, rhythms vary from lilting lullabies (The Moon Shines Bright) to silly song (Mrs Whirly). A departure from the usual, they’re from long ago, yet appear timeless. In this age of “edutainment” this is a welcome addition to a child’s bookshelf, that one would return to time and time again.

Available in bookstores now, Mother Goose’s Little Treasures is for ages 3-up and available in hardack.

Copy for review provided by the publisher.