Great Illustrated Books

My Very First Mother Goose

By Iona Opie, Illustrated by Rosemary Wells

Candlewick, 1996
Pages : 108
Suggested Ages: 0-6
ISBN: 9781564026200

While there are loads of wonderful Mother Goose collections out there, this oversized book will quickly become a home and classroom treasure with its 68 well-chosen verses and personable entourage of typical Wells bunnies, pigs, and cats, rendered in grand and colorful watercolors. Nursery rhymes are children's earliest introduction to the rhythms and poetic delights of the English language, so get interactive. Hoist your young'un up to your lap for a bouncing rendition of "Hey Diddle, Diddle" or "Trot, Trot, to Boston" and clap hands for "Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man." You'll also enjoy adding some of the less familiar rhymes to your repertoire.

Continue with the companion book, Here Comes Mother Goose. Hold a Nursery Rhyme Party, where children recite the rhymes they know, and eat Mother Goose-based snacks like Bugles (Little Boy Blue's horn), plum slices (Little Jack Horner's pie filling), and little cups of water (Jack and Jill's pails). Decorate hard-boiled Humpty Dumpties. You know what they say—if you don't know your nursery rhymes, you'll never be able to complete the New York Times crossword puzzle.

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If you love this book, then try:

Crews, Nina, comp. The Neighborhood Mother Goose. Greenwillow, 2004.

Denton, Kady MacDonald. A Child's Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Kingfisher, 1998.

DePaola, Tomie, comp. Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose. Putnam, 1985.

Edwards, Pamela Duncan. The Neat Line: Scribbling Through Mother Goose. HarperCollins, 2005.

Fabian, Bobbi, comp. Twinkle, Twinkle: An Animal Lover's Mother Goose. Dutton, 1997.

Hoberman, Mary Ann. You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together. Little, Brown, 2005.

Lamont, Priscilla, comp. Ring-a-Round-a-Rosy: Nursery Rhymes, Action Rhymes and Lullabyes. Little, Brown, 1990.

Lobel, Arnold, comp. The Random House Book of Mother Goose. Random House, 1986.

Long, Sylvia, comp. Sylvia Long's Mother Goose. Chronicle, 1999.

Moses, Will, comp. Will Moses Mother Goose. Philomel, 2003.

Opie, Iona, comp. Here Comes Mother Goose. Candlewick, 1999.

Opie, Iona, and Peter Opie, comps. Tail Feathers from Mother Goose: The Opie Rhyme Book. Little, Brown, 1988.

Stevens, Janet, and Susan Stevens Crummel. And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon. Harcourt, 2001.

Sutherland, Zena, comp. The Orchard Book of Nursery Rhymes. Orchard, 1990.

Critics have said

Such a spirit of fun and pleasure emanates from every page of this big, handsome volume that although there are many distinguished entries in the nursery-rhyme book field, this one is sure to add special joy to any collection.
School Library Journa

There's little point in pretending that even prodigious collections of nursery rhymes can do without this one--it's a must.

The cozy, well-appointed settings and loving gestures project a reassuring intimacy.