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Denslow's Mother Goose by W. W. Denslow

Denslow's Mother Goose (1901)

by W. W. Denslow

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Quickly read collection of Mother Goose rhymes, most familiar, some not. The illustrations are good, but the exact wording of some of these rhymes doesn't flow off the tongue as well as the versions I remember. The collection is also marred by Denslow's policy of re-writing to remove anything bad, so in his version of rock-a-bye baby the cradle doesn't fall! ( )
  datrappert | Dec 15, 2013 |
When I first saw this picture book on Project Gutenberg’s website, I got very excited, as I know Winslow was the guy who illustrated the original Wizard of Oz books. As I read it, I admired his work, but while the pictures are whimsical, they truly reflect the times in which he lived. People are portrayed as caricatures and stereotypes of their race (African –American, Indian, etc), as today’s politically correct parents might not prefer. There are a number of nursery rhymes found in the book, although as there is no table of contests, there is no way to figure out how many without counting each and every one. I found it interesting how the rhymes have changed over the years; for example, when I was growing up, Pat-a Cake went:

Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Roooooooll (there was a rolling motion we made) it and mark it with an A (or whatever letter that the person’s first name began with)
Put it in the over for Andie (or whoever the name is it was marked with) and me!

But in Winslow’s book it goes:

Pat a cake, pat a cake,
Baker’s man!
So I will, master, as fast as I can:
Pat it, and prick it, and mark it with a T, and
Put it in the oven for Tommy and me.

Very close but different enough that when I read it out loud, it sounded foreign.

I would not recommend this book to children, as it furthers some stereotypes I’d rather let go. Age: adult who can see that this book is a reflection of the time it was illustrated in.
  DWMSLibrarian | Oct 15, 2011 |
Nothing beats a book of nursery rhymes to read once a while XD
  lisa211 | Apr 17, 2007 |
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A collection of forty classic nursery rhymes illustrated by famed cartoonist W. W. Denslow.

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