A dainty dish that needed just a bit more proof in the pudding when it comes to historicity.

READ REVIEW

MOTHER GOOSE OF PUDDING LANE

Inventive verse and playful art combine in an origin story of Mother Goose herself.

Frontmatter offers possible backstories about the enigmatic Mother Goose, leading to an introduction of one Elizabeth Foster who lived in Colonial-era Boston and married widower Isaac Goose. Raschka’s poetic text provides a biographical sketch of Elizabeth Foster Goose, within which he thematically arranges well-known Mother Goose rhymes. For example, he introduces Elizabeth and Isaac as they fall in love and marry, accompanying that part of his text with nursery rhymes about courtship and matrimony. The text also explains that between stepchildren and those born to the couple, Elizabeth was Mother Goose to 14 children. Readers must connect the dots to deduce that this real woman may have originated the rhymes now known to generations, and it’s a shame the text fails to explicitly illuminate historical context. His art published posthumously, Radunsky’s gouache-and-pencil illustrations of the Goose family, other people, and anthropomorphic animals have a jovial, sketchy quality befitting the lively cadence of Raschka’s verse and the familiar nursery rhymes. Unfortunately, the depiction of what appears as an all-white world of Goose’s Colonial Boston offers ahistorical exclusivity. Ultimately, it’s a book as playful and cryptic as many a Mother Goose rhyme.

A dainty dish that needed just a bit more proof in the pudding when it comes to historicity. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7523-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Wow.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

THE STUFF OF STARS

The stories of the births of the universe, the planet Earth, and a human child are told in this picture book.

Bauer begins with cosmic nothing: “In the dark / in the deep, deep dark / a speck floated / invisible as thought / weighty as God.” Her powerful words build the story of the creation of the universe, presenting the science in poetic free verse. First, the narrative tells of the creation of stars by the Big Bang, then the explosions of some of those stars, from which dust becomes the matter that coalesces into planets, then the creation of life on Earth: a “lucky planet…neither too far / nor too near…its yellow star…the Sun.” Holmes’ digitally assembled hand-marbled paper-collage illustrations perfectly pair with the text—in fact the words and illustrations become an inseparable whole, as together they both delineate and suggest—the former telling the story and the latter, with their swirling colors suggestive of vast cosmos, contributing the atmosphere. It’s a stunning achievement to present to readers the factual events that created the birth of the universe, the planet Earth, and life on Earth with such an expressive, powerful creativity of words paired with illustrations so evocative of the awe and magic of the cosmos. But then the story goes one brilliant step further and gives the birth of a child the same beginning, the same sense of magic, the same miracle.

Wow. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7883-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Children of all ages will be charmed by this collection that demonstrates that poet-translators often make the best...

A LITTLE BITTY MAN

AND OTHER POEMS FOR THE VERY YOUNG

A charming collection of poems finds an American audience in a splendid translation.

Though unknown to the vast majority of American readers, Rasmussen (1915-2002) was a beloved Danish poet, known both for his human-rights writings as well as nonsense verse for children. A sweet compendium of the latter is translated here by the award-winning Nelson and Espeland and animated by Hawkes’ dynamic, colorful acrylic-and-pencil renderings, effectively capturing the playfulness of Rasmussen’s verse in both sound and image. As he explores life’s many processes, activities and imagined situations, Rasmussen’s delightfully warped sense of humor is in full view. It ranges from potty humor—“Feet are to jump on, / drums are to thump on. / Tiptoes to snoop on, / and potties to poop on!”—to outright silliness—“The elf puts on his winter coat […] and then, before he goes, / puts on an empty ice-cream cone / to insulate his nose.” But the poet also does not shy away from more serious subjects, such as the cultivation of friendships, using a light touch to convey his pacifist message: “Those fierce grown-up soldiers / who shoot guns and fight / should learn from us children / to fight a war right. / First, fight with toy guns. / Then, if your war won’t end, / you tickle your enemy / into a friend!”

Children of all ages will be charmed by this collection that demonstrates that poet-translators often make the best ambassadors. (Picture book/poetry. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7636-2379-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more