My Mother Goose : A Collection of Favorite
Rhymes, Songs and Concepts by David McPhail.
In 1972 I was introduced to the name of David McPhail through his very first publishing endeavor entitled, The Bear’s Toothache. Picture it. It’s late at night and a keening sound finds a small boy coming to the aid of a ginormous bear outside his window in the middle of the night who happens to have a tooth extraction problem. After numerous attempts, including hitting said bear with a pillow, their solution involves a rope tied to the bed and some leverage provide by a bounding bear out the window. I found it quite to my taste, both charming and disarming as necessity is indeed the mother of invention. His illustrations were endearing and relatable territory for young ones that may have baby teeth loosening as well. And what boy wouldn’t want a bear bicuspid for under his pillow? My favorite scene was this huge bear plastered against the wall behind the door in abject fear as dad comes to check out the hubbub. Since then, Mr. McPhail has written or illustrated some fifty more books.
As April is National Poetry Month, I chanced upon this picture book and it’s a beauty. Mother Goose with her nursery rhymes, and sometimes silly songs, like “Pease Porridge Hot,” along with “This Little Piggy Went to Market,” provide young readers with their earliest and most memorable introductions to poetry.
Who wouldn’t love the characters they meet such as the old woman in the shoe, Old Mother Hubbard, Jack Sprat and his horizontally challenged wife, Simple Simon, The King and Queen of Hearts, and Little Boy Blue, to name but a few. Hey! Synchronicity in poetry!
Concepts such as the alphabet, shapes, colors and counting are introduced with punch, practicality and a playful whimsical humor that young readers will enjoy.
If you are on the hunt this month for a book to introduce a young one to the pleasure of poetry, and Mother Goose in particular as a start, please look no further than David McPhail’s charming cast of story time characters. They will provide young readers with a memory box of earliest of poems for years to come…and will remember it with fondness in the future.
My favorite was always “The Three Little Kittens.”
Mittens are lost, found, washed, dried, and including pie as a reward – all in one poem.
I love to do it with hand motions! Kids do too!
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