FICTION

Mother Goose to the Rescue!

Penguin Workshop. Feb. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593093573.
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PreS-K–A heroic Mother Goose stars in this fully reimagined fairy-tale romp. When a tart-baking accident leads to flames engulfing the castle of the King and Queen of Hearts, the firefighters race to quench the fire. Fire chief Mother Goose leads a racially diverse crew, enlisting them with “Hickory, dickory, dock! Let’s race to beat the clock! Gear up in forty seconds flat. Strap on boots, striped coats, and hats.” Readers will spot Old King Cole, Mary and her lamb, Little Boy Blue, Mary of contrary fame, Jack and Jill, Little Miss Muffet, Itsy-Bitsy spider, Jack from the beanstalk, and more. Each character contributes with their best nursery rhyme-based skills to get those flames out. For example, Jack and Jill fetch water, Little Boy Blue drives and blows the fire engine horn, Itsy-Bitsy aims the water spout. This clever conceit is matched with great rhymes and a fun-to-act-out text. The crisp and colorful illustrations in a mix of full- and half-page spreads complete this eminently readable tale.
VERDICT A plethora of nursery rhyme characters make up the crew in this fast-paced rhyming tale of firefighting derring-do, subverting Mother Goose tropes and delivering lots of punch. Pair with the traditional rhymes.

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