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I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild's Pocket Book by…

I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild's Pocket Book (1992)

by Iona Opie, Peter Opie

Other authors: Maurice Sendak (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
514919,733 (4.06)4
  1. 00
    The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren by Iona Opie (waltzmn)
    waltzmn: The works of the Opies are largely devoted to the folklore of young people. I Saw Esau is one of their less formal collections. The Lore and Language... puts much of this information on a more scholarly footing.
  2. 00
    Tail Feathers from Mother Goose: The Opie Rhyme Book by Iona Opie (nessreader)
    nessreader: The verse in both these collections is more of the playground chant type, rhythmic and earthy, than the standard Mother Goose as-told-by-your-parent (I recognised only the janey mack rhyme, from Dublin, in tail feathers) Tail Feathers, by the way, has a different artist for each double page spread.… (more)

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Sendak's unique style brings these historical childhood rhymes to life through illustration. Peter and Iona Opie spent a lifetime studying and collecting such rhymes, and we all benefit from this carrying forward of this British oral tradition. ( )
  GReader28 | Oct 10, 2015 |
This hardcover, with notes, looks scholarly - and is. However, if it were presented in a cheap mm Scholastic pb, children could also appreciate it. It's actually quite fun! ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Found this in hardcover at Goodwill and couldn't resist.
( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is a lovely little book, full of lovely little illustrations!

It's based on a collection of rhymes first put together in the 1940s in England, though, and it's quite easy to tell - the rhymes are very British, and noticeably dated. And there's nothing wrong with that, but the book markets itself as universal rather than situating the rhymes in their context, as if mid-20th-century British *is* the universal, which bothers me a little.

On a similar tune, the notes in the back for each rhyme are nice, but I could wish for something more extensive, as many of these rhymes have a lot of regional variations, and a lot of interesting folk etymology, behind them. And I could wish for better indexing (or, actually, any indexing at all.) That's mostly me wishing this was a different book than it is, though. What it is, is a lovely little jewel of a pocket-book.
1 vote melannen | Jan 15, 2010 |
I can't decide which I love more about this book, the rebellious creative rhymes that stay with you all day or the beautifully compatible illustrations. Either way, this is also an old favorite that I delighted in revisiting. What a wonderful way to introduce older children to the fact that poetry can be "cool". ( )
1 vote hnebeker | Dec 16, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Opie, Ionaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Opie, Petermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Sendak, MauriceIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To W. B.
for twenty-four
good reasons
Iona Opie
For James Marshall
friend and
Maurice Sendak
First words
In the summer of 1946, Peter and I forswore the pleasures of London and retired to a cottage in Surrey.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0763611999, Paperback)

"I saw Esau kissing Kate, / The fact is we all three saw; / For I saw him, / And he saw me, / And she saw I saw Esau." So goes the schoolyard chant that graces this brilliant collection with its title. This "Schoolchild's Pocket Book," edited by lore and literature legends Iona and Peter Opie and gleefully illustrated by Maurice Sendak, definitely belongs on every child's shelf, right next to Mother Goose nursery rhymes and Grimms' fairy tales. I Saw Esau was first published in Great Britain in 1947, but it is vibrantly alive today as a glorious, whimsical collection of more than 170 schoolyard rhymes, ranging from insults and riddles to tongue twisters, jeers, and jump-rope rhymes--"clearly not rhymes that a grandmother might sing to a grandchild on her knee," writes Iona Opie in her introduction. We adore this sturdy, beautifully designed, pocket-sized book of funny, sometimes twisted, but always perfectly illustrated morsels of schoolyard tradition and history. (Ages 4 to 8, and all other ages, too)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:41 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A collection of rhymes and riddles traditionally passed on orally from child to child.

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Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 1564020460, 0763611999

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