Friday, May 6, 2011

Poetry Friday - A review of Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children

The Mother Goose thymes have entertained children from all over the world for many generations now. Parents enjoy sharing their favorite Mother Goose rhymes with their children, and they often punctuate their readings with tickles, clapping games, and more. For today's Poetry Friday review I have a book that offers a very different take on the Mother Goose rhymes. Here the rhymes are considerably darker than the original ones, and they offer an amusing story to follow that has a clever cautionary element.

Lisa Wheeler
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Simon and Schuster, 2011, 978-1-4169-2541-5
   Mother Goose is a kindly soul who loves children, but sometimes the children in her care are “far beyond my expertise.” When this happens, Mother Goose sends the children to her sister who has a school that is perfect for “uncouth urchins.” So, if you are considering being naughty, read this book and you will be find out what could await you in Spinster Goose’s school.
   Spinster Goose, not wanting “to wander,” built a school where “Her rules and her staff / keep the children in line.” If you are a pincher you are pinched. If you are a biter, you get bitten. In short this is a place where brats are sent, and where they get a taste of their own medicine.
   For example there is Bobby Shaftoe who was a “Thieving little gopher” who tries to steal some treats from the teachers lounge. Little does he know that his actions are being observed and that punishment awaits him.
   Jack and Jill sneak out of school “to ditch a boring class.” Jack falls down and hurts his head and Jill goes to the nurse. Unfortunately the nurse is “the spinster’s spy” and she turns the two children in and “Jack and Jill are busted.”
   This wonderful take on some of the Mother Goose rhymes will thoroughly delight readers who like books that are a little unusual. The rhymes are often wickedly funny, and they certainly give readers an altogether different poetry experience.  

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