Edited by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
I still have an old copy of “my very first Mother Goose” book at home. It has been cherished over the years and I can still picture my patient grandpa reading to me, my sister and my cousins all piled up on the couch. There are many publications of Mother Goose out there in our public library. This is my favorite.
My Very First Mother Goose edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells, is perfect to spread open on laps for shared reading with your little ones. It’s a large enough book for all to see, yet not cumbersome. The text is large and clear. Rosemary Wells’ (remember her bunnies, Max and Ruby?) cheerful watercolor illustrations encourage repeated looks to discover secrets hiding within the art.
Revisit Jack and Jill as bouncy bunnies rolling down the hill with silly smiles on their faces, and Jack Be Nimble jumping out of his Jack-in-the-Box to leap over the dining room table within a child’s imagination. I especially enjoy watching Little Boy Blue’s parents finding him under the haystack and carrying him lovingly home.
While the illustrations are both classic and contemporary (the trip “To market, to market to buy a fat hog” is taken in a roadster) the rhymes themselves are classic. The editor chose only the best and most appropriate rhymes for young children.
Nursery rhymes are perfect for teaching crucial early literacy skills to children. They have lots of rich vocabulary words. The rhymes, especially when sung, help children hear the smaller sounds in words. Professionals recommend that children know at least eight nursery rhymes by heart before starting kindergarten. This will give them some of those important skills that they need before learning how to read.