The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense

Candlewick. Oct. 2022. 80p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780763694340.
K-Gr 3–The off-kilter table of contents clues readers in to a less-than-conventional approach as Scieszka “play[s] around” with familiar characters and rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty, Jack Be Nimble, Old Mother Hubbard, Hey Diddle Diddle, Hickory Dickory Dock, and Twinkle Twinkle. Each of them is followed by several variations, including “censored” versions, a (failed) multiple choice test, a comic strip, haiku, Spoonerism, a recipe, a news report, and more. At the end, readers are invited to participate: “One, two, buckle my shoe./ Now YOU make these old rhymes new.” Back matter includes note on Egyptian hieroglyphs, various codes, anagrams, and puzzles, Mother Goose history, and copyright; Rothman created the art for the book using collage and Blanche Fisher Wright illustrations. As the Little Dog says in the news report, “It was crazy, I just had to laugh.”
VERDICT Come for Scieszka; stay if you have readers with a particular sense of humor, or need silly story times and curriculum tie-ins.

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