GREAT GRANDMOTHER GOOSE by Helen--Ed. Cooper

GREAT GRANDMOTHER GOOSE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A collection of ""medieval poems that might have filled the place now taken by nursery rhymes""--and that, were it not for the penchant for repackaging all such arcana, might well have been left to the source books cited in the concluding notes. By comparison with most of these selections, the traditional nursery rhymes are indeed child's play: ""Whoever builds his house all of sallows,/And spurs his blind horse over the hallows,/And lets his wife seek saints and hallows,/Is worthy to be hanged on the gallows."" Many don't scan, moreover, and few have the infectious rhythm, the verve and bounce, that makes such verse a joy forever. For a flat-out instance: ""I chose my lover at stone-casting, And I lost him at wrestling./Alas, that he so soon fell!/Why couldn't he stand better, the fool?"" One does see, here and there, intimations of themes and melodies to become familiar in later versions ('""How should any cherry/be without stone?/And how should any dove/be without bone?""); but on the whole children--as distinct from scholars--will find a surfeit of more appealing verse more attractively presented (Krystyna Turska's comic vignettes are no match for the chapbook originals) in the various Opie collections.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 1979
Publisher: Greenwillow