Mother Goose Goes to India

S. & S./Beach Lane. Jan. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534439603.
PreS-Gr 2–Mother Goose gets a whole new look in this vibrant retelling of some of her most famous rhymes. Set in rural India, these childhood standards get a South Asian makeover, complete with new foods, characters, and locations, as well as some new rhymes. In “Jai Be Nimble,” Jai is told to “be free” and jump over “the momabatee” or candle. Instead of three little piggies heading to market, readers will see three “sooar,” or pigs, going to the bazaar. Colorful and energetic, the illustrations serve as an introduction to rural India, providing a unique view of some traditional art, architecture, and clothing. In order to include cultural references as well as maintain the essence of each story, near rhymes are used more often than in the originals. This, however, does not detract from the overall appeal, look, or message of the retellings. Pronunciation guides and descriptions of Hindi words are a useful bridge for some readers; it’s a delight to see these cherished stories cast in a new light, one that is more global and inclusive.
VERDICT A must-have for poetry collections, this will find multiple uses by educators and anyone seeking a new approach to these classic tales.

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