I love to see a beautifully-crafted Mother Goose collection, and there’s a new one on shelves — David McPhail’s My Mother Goose: A Collection of Favorite Rhymes, Songs, and Concepts, released by Roaring Brook in October.
As the sub-title indicates, these are classic nursery rhymes—McPhail sticks to the most beloved ones and doesn’t throw any terribly obscure rhymes into the mix—but he also occasionally pauses to introduce concepts. In between, “Great A, little a, Bouncing B” and “London Bridge,” readers pause for an entertaining “My ABCs” spread. Later, readers look at how Henry the Bear gets around (covered wagon, unicycle, train, etc.). There are also numbers, shapes, colors, etc.
McPhail opens the book with a note about what nursery rhymes meant to him as a child, and he talks about memories of his own mother reciting them to him — and how he now recites them to his own grandchildren. The book closes with an index of first lines.
In November at the New York Times (here), Leonard Marcus wisely noted that McPhail’s characters in this collection, as you can see in the illustrations featured here, “are wistful daydreamers who bear a certain family resemblance to those first seen in children’s book art in the path-finding early illustration work of Maurice Sendak.” There are even moments that smack of Richard Scarry. These pen-and-ink watercolor illustrations invite us into a cozy, intimate world.
Here are some more illustrations from the book. Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry �