Tra la! It’s May! (Forgive my inner musical theater nerd coming out). While wracking my brain for this month’s theme, I remembered that May 1st is Mother Goose Day. That’s as good as any excuse to trot out my favorite collections of Mother Goose rhymes, and to possibly hear about other great collections that I’ve missed.
It’s hard to beat this Iona Opie/Rosemary Wells collaboration in terms of attractiveness, design, and overall perfection in its simplicity. With an abundance of Mother Goose collections that are crowded with multiple poems per page and small illustrations, Here Comes Mother Goose is perfect for large group or one-on-one sharing. It’s also a perfect choice if you’re invited to a “book shower” for an expectant/new parent.
Not only is Leo & Diane Dillon’s Mother Goose Numbers on the Loose an excellent nursery rhyme collection, but it’s also a fine counting book, as all rhymes deal with numbers and counting, thus making it appropriate for a mixed-age group. Many rhymes will probably be new to most readers.
If I had to choose my #1 favorite from the list, I would have to choose The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews. Those familiar with Crews’s work know that engaging photographs of children are a hallmark of her books, and The Neighborhood Mother Goose is no exception. With its delightful array of photographs featuring children of many ethnicities illustrating the scene(s) described in the nursery rhymes, The Neighborhood Mother Goose is a collection that makes the tried-and-true rhymes fresh and less-familiar ones immediately accessible to all readers.
Want to add an international flair to your nursery rhyme collection?
There are a number of Spanish/English nursery rhymes on the market, but Grandmother’s Nursery Rhymes remains a personal favorite. When appropriate, Nelly Palacio Jaramillo includes helpful notes or commentary to the poems, such as noting that one rhyme is used to help children make the rolling “r” sound often found in Spanish words.
Selections from 23 countries make up this vibrant and intriguing volume of nursery rhymes. Divided into chapters such as “Action Rhymes,” “Lullabies,” and the like, Floella Benjamin includes the rhyme in its original language and its English translation (a small number are not translated) and instructions for performing the action rhymes.
Songs From the Garden of Eden is a remarkable book. Featuring rhymes from Ladino, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Jewish Middle Eastern cultures, Nathalie Soussana has created a memorable collection of Jewish rhymes and lullabies. The selections feature the rhymes in their original language and their English translation. And for those unfamiliar with the pronunciations, a lovely CD is included!
Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments section.