|Mother Goose of Pudding Lane|
Author: Raschka, Christopher
A collection of some of Mother Goose's best-loved works.
Kirkus Reviews (07/01/19)
School Library Journal (08/30/19)
Booklist (+) (07/01/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2019 *Starred Review* This is the story of the real Mother Goose. Or, at least, one Mother Goose, an Elizabeth Foster who lived on Pudding Lane in Boston in 1692, and who married Isaac Goose. Together, the blissful couple wound up with 14 children, and Elizabeth—or rather, Mother Goose—became known for her lullabies and poems and actually published a collection. Although no original copies exist, several of her verses are still quite popular, such as “Old King Cole” and “Baa Baa Black Sheep.” This fictionalized, quasi biography is a cozy tribute to Mother Goose and nursery rhymes, blending brief biographical facts (shared in quaint phrasings) with selected rhymes that painlessly mirror the family’s happy and chaotic homelife. The quirky illustrations, by Radunsky, who passed away in September 2018—aptly breathe new life into the familiar lines. Whimsical gouache figures pop off bright backgrounds, vying for attention with black pencil doodles. Some pages are filled with small, busily detailed pictures, such as portraits of all 14 children, while others offer floating images, and a few cover two-page spreads. Some rhymes will be familiar, others won’t, but the story of the Goose family should be new for most readers. This is a delightful offering and, like previous titles from Raschka, should generate a lot of interest. Be prepared. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/30/2019 Gr 3 Up-Just who was the real Mother Goose, who gave us all those rhyming verses? Raschka proposes here that she must have been Elizabeth Foster of Boston. "In 1692, she married old Isaac Goose from the city, a widower with 10 children." The author speculates on this brief biographical bit in four pages preceding the book's title page. In this creative scheme for the main text, his own brief comments about the Goose marriage and family life introduce two or four pages of selected Mother Goose and other traditional rhymes. Set in large red type in the upper left-hand corner of the spread, Raschka's poetic quips, some rhyming with the previous one, could be assembled into a single poem. "Elizabeth Goose/and/Isaac Goose/Had children quite a few." Here just one old verse, the account of the old woman living in a shoe, demonstrates the point. Radunsky's gouache and pencil sketches scatter humans and animals across pages in varying colors and textures. A series of small portraits fills some views—Elizabeth Foster, Isaac Goose, and each of their 14 children, or Gregory Griggs and his 27 wigs, for instance. Many views include messy little pencil sketches among painted figures. In some busy views the figures are an odd match with the text, but there are many fun details throughout the book. Readers might approach this as just another Mother Goose collection. While most of the rhymes are familiar, some seem less so in the phrasing. Raschka provides no author note or acknowledgements of sources for the factual bits or the rhymes. A publisher's promotional piece notes that Radunsky died prior to the book's publication. This title should be purchased where his work and that of Raschka have been popular. VERDICT An entertaining bit of esoterica for select, primarily adult, readers.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.