Mother Goose is for babies, right? Wrong! Although I’ve listed some books that have straight-ahead nursery rhymes, the bulk of the books included are definitely not the traditional type. All the books are picture books (not just for little ones!) or picture story books. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
BASIC and NOT-SO-BASIC NURSERY RHYMES
Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose by Mary Engelbreit
This is quite a complete collection with 100 rhymes. Each page is illustrated by Mary Engelbreit’s wonderful pictures.
Mother Goose Picture Puzzles by Will Hillenbrand
20 well-known rhymes are written in rebus form. That is, key words (cat, pail, spider…) are represented by small pictures. The beauty of this book is the rebuses are labeled in each illustration, as a kind of mini dictionary.
Teddy Bears’ Mother Goose by Michael Hague
If you like teddy bears, this book is for you! Each of the 55 rhymes has at least one bear in it, always in the wonderful illustrations and often in the rhymes themselves. This little teddy went to market… Little Bear Blue.
Mamá Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy, illustrated by Maribel Suárez
If you are a Spanish-English speaking home, this book is just for you. It presents well-known Spanish nursery rhymes and then translates them into English. Don't speak Spanish? No matter - the rhymes are a delight for everyone to discover.
NURSERY RHYMES WITH A TWIST
Previously by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman
I love everything about this book: the backwards story line (incredibly clever), the illustrations (very funny), the main idea (how various nursery rhymes and fairy tales can be connected) – I even love the font (perfectly easy to read)!
The Neat Line by Pamela Duncan Edwards, illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal
A young scribble practices until it becomes a straight line. It then goes on the solve the problems of Little Boy Blue, Jack and Jill and more. A super story.
The Daddy Goose Treasury by Vivian French
Ever wonder about the whole story behind the nursery rhymes? Well this book tells some pretty wild stories. Find out why the little dog laughed when the cow jumped over the moon. Discover the truth of Jack and Jill’s trek up the hill. And you’ll never guess how Dumpty was put together again.
The Green Mother Goose: Saving the World One Rhyme at a Time by Jan Peck and David Davis, illustrate by Carin Berger
The title tells it all. Familiar rhymes are rewritten with a green focus. Example: Jack be nimble, Jack be fun. Turn off the tap, Don’t let it run. It'd be a hoot to try writing some more, using favorite rhymes.
Truckery Rhymes by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon
This book must have been very fun to create! Regular nursery rhymes are re-written so each one is about trucks. Example: Jack be nimble. Jack be quick. Jack smashed through the wall of brick. The illustrations are as fun as the rhymes. I wish I had this book when I was teaching!
Detective Blue by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Tedd Arnold
Little Boy Blue has become a detective in this graphic novel. He solves the mystery of the disappearance of Miss Muffet with the help of his nursery rhyme friends. Did you know there was a connection between Miss Muffet and Goldilocks? Me neither!
The Web Files by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Richard Egielski
Ducktective Web and his partner try to quack the case of the pilfered peck of perfectly picked pickled peppers. With all the tongue twisters in this book, you’re definitely going to want to read this book aloud! And make sure you ask your parent (or better yet, grandparent) to tell you how to say, “DUM DE DUM DUM” and the reason for Ducktective Web’s name.
The Jolly Postman, or, Other People's Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
A mail carrier delivers letters to several famous fairy-tale characters such as Cinderella, the Big Bad Wolf, and the Three Bears. One of the fun things about this book is each letter can be removed from its envelope page and read separately.
There were way too many good nursery rhyme books to include in today’s post. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming up in late December.
I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving!