"Many adults can look back and see that it was in [Mother Goose] rhymes that they first found a love of language, rhythm and story.... Recited by heart, passed lovingly from parent to child, these verses--magical, musical, sometimes silly, sometimes wise--are part of our collective childhood."
In her artist's note, Sylvia Long admits that she approached the project of creating a new Mother Goose anthology with some trepidation. The award-winning artist was convinced that the only way she could take on a new version would be if hers were somehow unique. And unique it is. Integrating well-known rhymes with less familiar ones, and altering otherwise frightening images with clever, comforting artwork, Long has come up with a fresh, fun, yet still respectfully traditional approach to these classic verses. Linking the pages visually, Long encourages readers to discover playful connections between different rhymes. For example, the queen in "Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been?" is seated next to Old King Cole on the opposite page of the spread; apparently, these two are a royal item! Long's love of nature is reflected in her gorgeous watercolors of birds, rabbits, cats, frogs, insects, bears, and mice, all of whom figure prominently as old friends Jack and Jill, Old Mother Hubbard, Little Boy Blue, and Little Robin Red-breast. More than 75 classic Mother Goose rhymes are included in this stunning compendium. (Ages 3 and older) --Emilie Coulter [via]