The Children’s Book Review | November 13, 2018
Edited by Iona Opie
Illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Age Range: 2 and up
Hardcover: 108 pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press
What to expect: Nursery Rhymes, Mother Goose, Favorite Characters
Mother Goose nursery rhymes are the stuff that childhood is made of. From the great story of Humpty Dumpty, to the lesser known Milkman, Milkman, this beautiful book covers the world’s favorite nursery rhymes. MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, is a large volume of nearly seventy classic nursery rhymes.
The colorful and charming illustrations feature the work of Rosemary Wells, famed author and illustrator of the Max and Ruby series, as well as the Yoko series and many more. Her sweet and precocious animals bring the tales of Mother Goose to life, and entice even the smallest children to flip the pages. Many of the scenes look like they are right out of old-time England or the rural hills of colonial America. Her bold color choices and familiar animal characters will entrance little readers and bring excitement to these classic tales. Unlike many compilations of nursery rhymes, each page of this edition is intricately decorated with inventive pictures, decorated letters and tiny hidden easter egg-type surprises. The characters in the pictures often have their own conversations that add richness and interest to the rhymes.
Adults will enjoy reading through the dozens of nursery rhymes, remembering their favorites from childhood. Our family realized we had heard of or only knew part of many rhymes, and this robust compilation has them all. Editor Iona Opie’s fine research in to the world of nursery rhymes has made this book a special treasure that will enhance any child’s library. Highly recommended.
About the Editor
Iona Opie has dedicated her life to collecting and preserving children’s rhymes as an art form. “I suppose my message in life is ‘Nursery rhymes are good for you.’ And the sooner you start, the better. I always have one myself every morning. I just open a nursery rhyme book at random. This morning I read:
Taffy was born on a
His head in a pipskin,
his heels upright.
You see, if you acquire a nursery rhyme-ical attitude, you’re not at all put out by life’s little bumps and bruises—they just seem funny and entirely normal.”
About the Illustrator
Rosemary Wells says, “We live in a time when our language is shrinking. Mother Goose, which represents our language at its most innocent, playful, and profound, is in danger of disappearing completely. Rhymes that have been repeated and refined for forty generations are no longer being taught to children. It is a great honor to work with Iona Opie with the hope of preserving these rhymes for many generations more.” Rosemary wells lives in New York.
My Very First Mother Goose, edited by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like My Very First Mother Goose by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Mother Goose Books, Nursery Rhyme Books, Picture Book, and Rosemary Wells.