________________ CM . . . . Volume IV Number 1 . . . . September 5, 1997

vover My Very First Mother Goose.

Edited by Iona Opie. Illustrated by Rosemary Wells.
Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 1996.
108pp., hardcover, $19.99.
ISBN 1-56402-620-5.

Subject Headings:
Nursery rhymes.
Children's poetry.

Preschool and up / Ages 3 and up.
Review by Leslie Millar.

**** /4


image The man in the moon
Came down too soon,
And asked his way
to Norwich;
He went by the south
and burnt his mouth
With supping cold
plum porridge.


Wash the dishes,
Wipe the dishes,
Ring the bell for tea;
Three good wishes,
Three good kisses,
I will give to thee.


Jerry Hall,
He is so small,
A rat could eat him
Hat and all.
Iona Opie is considered the leading authority in the field of collecting and preserving children's games and rhymes. With her late husband, Peter Opie, she has edited many acclaimed books of children's folklore, including The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, and I Saw Esau.

      My Very First Mother Goose opens with a message from Iona Opie which explains her love for nursery rhymes, especially for what they offer: "A suggestion that mishaps might be funny rather than tragic...and that laughter is the cure for everything."

      There is much here to make readers smile, if not laugh outright. Covering more than 60 rhymes, most of which exude a delightful silliness, the book is divided into four chapters. Extra-large font text and full page illustrations are afforded generous amounts of room. The book's spacious layout adds to users' ease and pleasure of reading. In addition to an opening table of contents, the book also has a concluding first line index.

      Award winning illustrator Rosemary Wells has used warm, inviting colours to animate these rhymes and has populated them with rabbits, mice and cats. A healthy assortment of other animals, including, of course, Mother Goose, herself, and a few humans also make an appearance. What a cheerful bunch they are, brimming with the innocence, joy and mischief that are the property of childhood.

      Children will grow to love this book under the tutelage of adults who, in turn, will have the opportunity to rediscover how playful and profound words can be and how complexity hides in simplicity - in short, what a happy thing language is.

Highly recommended.

Winnipeg's Leslie Millar is a mother and substitute teacher.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364