Sunday, November 10, 2019

Who's the REAL Mother Goose? Mother Goose of Pudding Lane by Chris Rascha

Who IS Mother Goose?

La belle France claims the originator of nursery rhymes and folk tales as their own, often portrayed as a white goose in a little medieval white dust cap, whereas the English Mother Goose wore a tall black silk hat and a checked shawl.

But America claims their own Mother Goose as the real mistress of rhymes and story teller, Elizabeth Foster, who married one Isaac Goose of Pudding Lane, Boston!
Elizabeth Foster
Isaac Goose,
Who loved her from the start.

Little Miss, pretty miss,
Blessings light upon you!
If I had a crown a day
I'd spend it gladly on you.

Since Isaac Goose was a middle-aged widower with ten children, it's easy to see why he wisely sought the hand in marriage of Miss Foster, a young and willing country girl, and when they were wed, the family began to prosper. Elizabeth had four more children, and as she went out to shop with her basket, followed by her full brood in a row, the then mother of fourteen children might well have been known as Mother Goose around Boston!

But from what we know of her, Mrs. Elizabeth Goose was not the old woman who had so many children she didn't know what to do! Indeed, together Elizabeth's and Isaac's family fortunes grew, and her stories, lullabies, and cheery verses were much admired on Pudding Lane and also afar.
Elizabeth Goose
To the Family Goose
Was motherly and wise.

Filled with jolly familiar (and not so familiar) nursery rhymes and tales, Caldecott artist and author Chris Rascha's new version of this classic, Mother Goose of Pudding Lane (Small Tall Tales) (Candlewick Press, 2019) is a worthy addition to the many editions of this tradition of children's literature. Rascha provides occasional pencil drawings in his hasty scribbled style, while artist Vladimir Radunsky's humorous colored illustrations with period dress add much to this merry American revision of the beloved book. Says Publishers Weekly, "Radunsky’s joyous, dreamlike gouache figures cavort across the spreads; pencil drawings and ghostly naïf-style images appear here and there, too, scribbled on the pages...Happily, instead of concentrating on nostalgia, the longtime collaborators pursue the verses’ unadulterated silliness...."

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