Friday, May 25, 2007

The Neighborhood Mother Goose

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: . 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!

26 comments:

:: Suzanne :: said...

added my end-of-the-quarter contribution.

Michele said...

I'm in for PF - Shakespeare and Henry Heveningham.

Thanks for rounding up !

Mary Lee said...

My Poetry Friday contribution is a short meditation on creativity by X.J. Kennedy.

Kelly said...

Thanks, cloudscome. I'm with the Russians again!

B. Johansen Newman said...

In the middle of blogging/showing the messy and not so messy studios of my fellow kids' book creators, I present a poem called, "Messy Room" by Shel Silverstein--just to keep myself in the mood to embrace my own messiness.

Thanks for hosting!

Liz in Ink said...

Handy new techno wizardry! Thanks!!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Cloudscome,

My Poetry Friday post at Wild Rose Reader is "Toucing the World." It's about children exploring nature and writing poetry. I have a link to an article by Joyce Sidman entitled "Touching the World: The Importance of Teaching Poetry" and a recommendation for an excellent poetry resource for teachers.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Cloudscome,

For Poetry Friday at Blue Rose Girls I have a poem for Memorial day by Yusef Komunyakaa entitled FACING IT. I include links to the full text of the poem and the video at the website of the Favorite Poem Project.

adrienne said...

I love Mister Linky!

I also love the Crews collection. My favorite nursery rhyme has always been "Jack Sprat," from the time I was a little, little kid. Something about the image of the portly wife and skinny husband has always captured me, although, interestingly, I've never used it in storytime. In storytime, I most commonly use "There was a Crooked Man" and "Hey Diddle Didddle," which are both pretty good, too.

Mitali Perkins said...

Oh, you're so delectably geeky! Thanks for setting this up.

Susan said...

hey, Cloudscome. I am in with Mary Ann Hoberman's poem "Fish."

Thanks for rounding up. The linking technology is impressive!

SevenImpossible said...

Thanks for rounding up! Love your post. Love that book.

-- Jules at 7-Imp

HipWriterMama said...

Thanks for rounding up! I'm in with Maya Angelou's Caged Bird and a musing on whether our daughters will have to pay a price for Girl Power!

Sylvia Vardell said...

I hope I may jump in on the Poetry Friday round up-- my first. Thanks for organizing and the way-cool and easy link. Love that Crews book, too. Those great photo collages make the poems fresh and fun all over again.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the round-up!

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I kvell to widgets. My poem for this Friday is "Emily and Elvis Presley in Heaven" by Hans Ostrom.

Gregory K. said...

Stumped by the widget, I suspect, but I'm in with a four book Oddaptation right here.

Christine M said...

I love the girl with a curl poem - it fits my daughter to a 't' and always has - my poem this week - is by my son (age 7)

Kelly Fineman said...

I love the girl with her curl -- my grandmother used to recite it, too, amongst many others.

I'm with with Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Charlotte said...

I am in with Beatrix Potter and a (very small) contest...thanks!

MaureenE said...

I've got Yeats and Roethke. Linky worked fine for me.

Katie said...

I added my link! That's a cool widget. Thanks for doing the round-up!

Jennie said...

This is SO COOL!

Thanks for rounding up and showing us all the fun new toy!

I'm in this week with some Edna St. Vincent Millay

M.F. Atkins said...

What a cool way to do the roundup!I'm sharing my own poem inspired by Janet Wong.

M.F. Atkins said...

Speaking of Nursery rhymes, I just checked out the book "There was a Little Girl, She Had a Little Curl" by Harriet Ziefert. It starts out with that popular nursery rhyme, then goes into a story about a little girl who tries to be REALLY good for a day. My daughter loves it.

cloudscome said...

Thanks all of you for playing along! This was fun and I'm glad the linky worked so well. And now we have a button!!