Friday, August 2, 2013

Poetry Friday - A review of Sylvia Long's Mother Goose

The first Mother Goose book containing nursery rhymes was published by John Newbery in 1791. Since then dozens of Mother Goose books have been published in many languages, and many have been created using unusual formats. What I like about today's poetry title are the cunning and richly detailed illustrations that Sylvia Long has created to accompany the Mother Goose rhymes.

Sylvia Long’s Mother GooseSylvia Long’s Mother Goose
Sylvia Long
Picture Book
For ages 2 to 5
Chronicle, 1999, 978-0811820882
Let us go on a trip down lanes peopled with animals in cunning old-fashioned outfits. Let's encounter rhymes that are old friends, and ones that will become new friends. Though the rhymes are in their original form, the illustrations are full of surprises. The reader will find that the illustrator has put her own personal twist to these old, much beloved, rhymes. Instead of having poor Humpty Dumpty break open, Sylvia Long has the egg fall of the wall, crack, and reveal a little duckling that is inside the egg. In "Hey Diddle Diddle" the cow, dressed in a tutu and ballet slippers, leaps gracefully over the moon, and a spoonbill bird is the one who runs away with the dish - who just happens to be a turtle.
   In addition to many of the more familiar Mother Goose rhymes, Sylvia Long has added some of the less well knows rhymes to her beautifully illustrated collection. It is a treat to be able to enjoy these rhymes, to laugh at the funny things that happen to the characters in them, and to indulge in this wonderful literary legacy that belongs to us all.

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