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Friday, June 10, 2011

Mother Goose Picture Puzzles, written and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Marshall Cavendish, 2011. $20.95 ages 2 and up

"Old Mother Goose,
when she wanted to wander,
would ride through the air
on a very fine gander."

So many children today have not heard and therefore, cannot repeat or chant the poetry of my childhood and my childrens' childhood. They are missing so much! Will Hillenbrand sets out to change all that and I am delighted that he has. Bravo!

I love his newest book and am very happy that I stopped by my favorite children's book shop, wallet in hand,. Whenever I go to THE STORY GARDEN here in Brandon, I tell myself to leave my money in the car...never happens! What a great gift this new discovery will be for new arrivals, and for those just figuring out what reading is. I also had a lovely visit with Jan and Emily while there...

It's a picture puzzle book (rebus style) of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Will Hillenbrand uses inspired artwork in place of some of the words and makes reading a great deal of fun. Isn't that what it is meant to be?

What a great way to get our littlest ones joining in. They can 'read' the pictures which is a most useful skill when one wants to learn how to read. Illustrations help our children figure out what the words are saying. In this case. the pictures replace the words. This author takes it a step further and adds captioned spot illustrations that match the pictures in the text of the rhyme and thus allows children to see the words accompanied by a visual representation of them. Intelligent and imaginative...I love rebus books!

The illustrations for the twenty rhymes are warm, and often humorous. The expressive faces display happiness, surprise, delight and even consternation. They are pastoral in nature and offer up double page spreads that flow seamlessly from one verse to the next, often providing a clue about the nursery rhyme to follow. It is great fun!

As I have mentioned previously, children who know rhymes are a step ahead of those who don't when it comes to reading. The ability to hear and see similarities in words and sounds stand them in good stead for being successful readers down the road. Isn't that worth it?

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