Saturday, 25 October 2008

How Mother Goose came to tell her rhymes

Our children have delighted in reading Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes and How She Came to Tell Them by Alison Green illus Axel Scheffler this week. (For those who do not keep track of illustrators, Axel Scheffler illustrated The Gruffalo, and my kids and I love his pictures.)

The rhymes are mostly the same-old same-old, but in between are one page vignettes of Mother Goose and her three goslings, Boo, Lucy and Small. These two are our favourites, to whet your appetite:

"Was Humpty Dumpty an egg, Mummy?" asked Boo.
"Yes, he was," said Mother Goose. "But he wasn't a very sensible egg."
"Why?" asked Boo.
"Because he sat on a wall," said Mother Goose. "That's not a safe place for an egg."
"What is a safe place for an egg?" asked Boo.
"In a nest," said Mother Goose. "When you were eggs, I kept you all safe in a nest until you hatched."
"If Humpty Dumpty had hatched, would he have been a goose?" asked Boo.
"I don't think so," said Mother Goose. "He wasn't that sort of egg."
"What sort of egg was he?" asked Boo."
"The sort that wears clothes and sits on a wall," said Mother Goose.
"That's a silly sort of egg," said Boo.
"Yes," said Mother Goose. "It is."

And to accompany "Lavender's Blue", there is this story:

"When I'm king," said Boo, "I'll set you all to work. I'll sit on the riverbank, and you'll have to fetch weed for me to eat, and bring it on a silver platter."
"You'll get very fat," said Mother Goose, "if you don't run around and swim."
"And you won't be able to jump in puddles," said Lucy.
"Kings aren't allowed to jump in puddles," said Small.
"Are kings allowed to play games?" asked Boo.
"Only chess," said Lucy. "And crosswords."
"And they have to be in a bad mood all day long, and make up rules for everyone," said Small.
"When are you going to be king?" asked Lucy.
"Oh, not for ages," said Boo. "I'll let you know."

Anyone who has ever attempted to answer a pre-schooler's incessant questions, or overheard a child's ever-so definite assertions about the way the world works, will enjoy this picture book almost as much as the children who sit on their lap while they read it aloud.

[Cover image from dymocks.]

1 comment:

argsmommy said...

How cute! I'll have to put that on my library list.