by Nina Crews. Greenwillow Books, 2004.
I wonder why nursery rhymes are so easy to memorize and why they come back so clearly with just the prompt of a first line. Georgie Porgie. Itsy Bitsy Spider. Diddle Diddle Dumpling, My Son John. Little Miss Muffet. My boys loved these rhymes even before they make any sense to them. Punkin laughed with delight to Pat A Cake when he was only 11 weeks old and we had to clap his hands together for him. Is it because we are drilled in them by parents and playful, adoring adults that these poems claim such significance?
Nina Crews has done a beautiful job chosing some of the most musical and popular nursery rhymes for her collection. I just love the photographs of real children that accompany them. We have several volumes of Mother Goose but this one is my favorite because the children are so beautiful and the setting for each rhyme is modern. Somehow it makes even the archaic references to death and destruction into joyful dances; Ring Around the Rosie is always a favorite and here it is a romp in the park. Rock a Bye Baby, where the baby falls out of the tree in the rhyme, is celebrated by a father adoring his chubby baby wrapped in a hammock. I have to admit that one makes me uneasy - does that man know the baby could really fall out with just a kick or two?
When I was a girl my mother always sang this one to me:
There was a little girl,
who had a little curl
right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
she was very, very good
and when she was bad
she was horrid!
I thought it was about me and my own special brand of naughtiness. It wasn't till I was a grown up that I realized a lot of little girls thought that. Here it is illustrated by a lovely African American girl with her hair perfectly styled, the curl pressed on her forehead. She is cutting the hair off her doll with such a mischevius expression you have to laugh.
What's your favorite Mother Goose rhyme?
I am doing the poetry round up today. I am trying something new for us this week. I signed up for a Mr. Linky account so that we could use the widget to make autolinks. Just put the url of your poetry post in the linky box below. Make sure you use the address of the particular post and not your main page, so others can quickly find your poetry post for today. Also, if you mark your post with this tag others can find you on the technorati page: friday poetry. Be sure to come back later in the day and follow the links to everyone else's poetry posts. Please leave me a comment about how this works for you so we can evaluate and tweak it for the future.
Enjoy your long weekend!