Reviews for Green Mother Goose : Saving the World One Rhyme at a Time


Booklist Reviews 2011 April #2
More suitable for teaching about ecology and conservation than simple sharing for fun, this collection of fractured nursery rhymes, including "This Is the Seed That Jack Sowed," "Old King Coal," and 28 more, will be received best by kids who already know the original versions and will appreciate the green twist. These versions are cleverly done and retain the rhythms of the originals while updating the language and the message. The moralistic tone ("Mary, Mary, quite contrary, / Refused to garden green. / Her toxic sprays, a choking haze, / Spreading dangers, hurtful and mean") isn't likely to win many converts, although kids already on the green bandwagon will welcome the reinforcement. Folkloric collage illustrations reinforce the message: bits of newspaper and other types of "found" papers and textiles form the stylized images of animals and people in earthy tones of green, gold, slate blue, warm brown, and rust red. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
"Old King Coal," "Little Boy Green"--thirty nursery rhymes have been rewritten with an environmentalist message. The more successful rhymes are humorous; others, some of which invoke a doomsday scenario ("Hickory, dickory, dock, / Our world is on the clock"), make one want to cry out Enough already! Naturally, the vibrant art was created with newsprint, ticket stubs, and other recyclables. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2011 March #2
For this collection of 30 poems, not only nursery rhymes but also familiar children's songs ("Yankee Doodle," "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush," etc.) have been given new lyrics promoting energy conservation activities and healthy living. The author of Texas Mother Goose (2006) here teams up with the "green-minded" author of The Giant Carrot (1998) to produce a lively combination of parody and sound earth-saving suggestions. "Little Jack Horner / Changed bulbs in the corner" and "Hickety, Pickety, free-range hen" combine with a Mother Hubbard who "went to the market / To buy only local." Their strong message is leavened by Berger's whimsical, inventive illustrations, which lighten the tone. On varied backgrounds, including lined paper, surreal bird-people with skinny legs and round heads litter and recycle, plant gardens, tend bees, hang laundry on the line and ride bicycles. Five little pig-people "re-re-recycle!" all the way home. Indeed, recycled materials, found papers and ephemera were used for these collages. Bits of text on the papers bear intriguing messages, use unusual fonts and languages and may be reversed. Some of the materials make connections: Mother Hubbard does, indeed, have a cloth shopping bag, and the gardener in "This is the Seed that Jack Sowed" is wearing denim overalls. These illustrations invite close inspection, while the poems will be welcomed in schools where going green is a value. (Poetry. 5-9)
Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 February #4

Classic nursery rhyme characters are recast in an eco-friendly platform. Yankee Doodle explores green transportation ("Yankee Doodle went to school,/ A-riding in a carpool"), Old Mother Hubbard rethinks her buying habits when her dog rebuffs the junk food in her cupboard ("She went to the market/ To buy only local./ Dog bounced and barked/ His approval was vocal"), and "Old King Coal" has a change of heart: "Though he was a meanie,/ Now he is a greenie,/ And he works to keep our skies smoke-free." Matte collages incorporate newsprint, bottles, cans, and other recyclable materials. Peck and Davis deliver their missive with humor and a touch of snark, but the often self-righteous tone drains much of the fun. Ages 5-up. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 May

Gr 3-6--Peck and Davis whimsically rework 30 familiar rhymes with eco-friendly issues and concerns: recycling, organic gardening, free-range chickens, and the benefits of conserving. The five little piggies bike, save water, and cry: "Re-re-recycle!'/All the way home." Little Jack Horner changes incandescent bulbs, Little Boy Green tends a beehive, and Old King Coal: "Though he was a meanie,/Now he is a greenie,/And he works to keep our skies smoke-free." Most of the rhymes are fun and readable, even rousing at times, though a few are forced and didactic. After failing to win her pet's approval with junk food and nonorganic snacks, Old Mother Hubbard: "went to the market/To buy only local./Dog bounced and barked,/His approval was vocal." Berger's collage illustrations crafted from found papers, including ticket stubs and newsprint, add to the book's folksy appeal. Inventive and hopeful, this should strike the right note for Earth Day celebrations.--Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

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