Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Today's read... The Real Dada Mother Goose by Jon Scieszka

Today's read promises tons of ridiculous fun with words and rhymes. I wasn't sure what to expect with this one and went at it with a little hesitation. But it didn't take long until I was completely won over and am thinking about adding this one to my possible favorites for 2022 list. 

by Jon Scieszka
Illustrated by Julia Rothman
Candlewick Press
Picture Book Humor
80 pages
ages 7 to 10

The classic nursery rhymes we know and love—upside-down, backward, in gibberish, and fresh out of bounds—as only Jon Scieszka could stage them.

Mother knows best, but sometimes a little nonsense wins the day. Inspired by Dadaism’s rejection of reason and rational thinking, and in cahoots with Blanche Fisher Wright’s The Real Mother Goose, this anthology of absurdity unravels the fabric of classic nursery rhymes and stitches them back together (or not quite together) in every clever way possible. One by one, cherished nursery rhymes—from “Humpty Dumpty” to “Hickory Dickory Dock,” “Jack Be Nimble” to “Mother Hubbard”—fall prey to sly subversion as master of fracture Jon Scieszka and acclaimed illustrator Julia Rothman refashion them into comics strips, errant book reports, anagrams, and manic mash-ups. Playfully reconstructed, the thirty-six old-new rhymes invite further baloney, bringing kids in on the joke and inviting them to revel in reimagining. Featuring robust back matter, this irreverent take on the rhymes of childhood is a great gift for child readers and a rich classroom resource across grade levels, and a is a love song to a living language.


As an extra bonus, an activity kit is available for download through Candlewick Press for FREE here!


Even my 15 year-old daughter (non-bookworm—breaks my heart) picked this one up and said, "Mom, this book is neat!"

It's time for silliness and fun as six classical nursery rhymes are tossed through all sorts of language nonsense, flip-flops and more. First, the nursery rhyme is presented in its classical form. Then, everything from literary devices to word play to secret codes to languages...and just anything that words can go through hits these rhymes. The results are sometime humorous, while others make one think or even wonder how it makes sense...which it may not. For example, Humpty-Dumpty's rhyme meets Morse Code or Hey Diddle Diddle turns into a Haiku. Anything and everything is possible with these change-ups...and it's never the same thing twice.

The adaptations don't only bring interesting and silly results, but it does make readers see words in new ways. There is more educational value to this one than first meets the eye. Foreign languages join the mix, summaries, vowels, anagrams and much more. At the end of the book, each one of these types of 'twists' is explained, so the reader will learn more about Morse Code, similes, secret codes, puzzles, and everything else. Plus, it's fun. 

The illustrations play between the text with gentler colors. These add just the right touch, where it is needed and let the text play stay on center stage. While this is a picture book, it's geared toward slightly older readers and will even make adults smile as they explore it with the younger audience. 

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