Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls


What if Jack and Jill had been playing on a nice soft sand dune instead of that treacherous hill? And suppose Mary's pet wasn't really a lamb. What if Mary had a little . . . clam? Those questions - and more - are gleefully answered in Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls. This collection retells Mother Goose rhymes and celebrates America's coastlines and waterways - from sea to shining sea. Young readers will meet playful pelicans, seagulls and otters. They'll ride wild island ponies, meet ...
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What if Jack and Jill had been playing on a nice soft sand dune instead of that treacherous hill? And suppose Mary's pet wasn't really a lamb. What if Mary had a little . . . clam? Those questions - and more - are gleefully answered in Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls. This collection retells Mother Goose rhymes and celebrates America's coastlines and waterways - from sea to shining sea. Young readers will meet playful pelicans, seagulls and otters. They'll ride wild island ponies, meet pirates, and hopefully, they'll learn the important difference between "orca" and "okra." With clever twists on old standards, Mother Osprey is a salute to sea breezes, sand, and just plain silliness. The For Creative Minds educational section includes: Poem related fun facts and a Map activity.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mother Goose rhymes are recast with a distinctly maritime theme, taking readers up and down America's waterways, from coast to coast. “One Potato, Two Potato,” here “One Flamingo,” becomes a musing on collective nouns for coastal species: “Seagulls form a colony, and curlews form a herd./ But cormorants are called a gulp—they're such a silly bird.” And rather than sugar and spice, little gulls are made of “Mischief and daring and one pickled herring,/ that's what little gulls are made of.” Most of Nolan's (the Down Girl and Sit series) rhymes are only passing clever, and McLennan's (The Rainforest Grew All Around) images possess a safe, generic feel—there aren't many flights of imagination on display. But this might be a nice one to tuck into the beach bag, with an eye toward turning time under the beach umbrella into teachable moments. Ages 3–7. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Perfect reading before a trip to the shore, these beach versions of Mother Goose rhymes combine familiar rhythm and meter with new content. The colorful illustrations amplify the selections they accompany and invite children to stop and linger over each picture. "Lydia Gail has lost her whale./He's somewhere around Nantucket./Leave him alone, and he'll make himself known./He's hiding in her bucket." In the accompanying illustration, the child's toy can be spied atop her yellow pail. Animals are the stars of the art, with only a few children and adults featured in "An Old Woman Who Lived in a Shell," "Lobster Pies," "Two Skippers from Texas," "Tweedle-Dum & Tweedle-Dee," and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." These lighthearted verses read like plays on words for adults familiar with the originals and will be fun for children. Such titles as "Mary Had a Little Clam," "Jack & June (went up a dune)," and "Hatteras Light Is Falling Down" are rooted in the Eastern seashore, while "I Saw a Ship A-Sailing" sets a prairie schooner on the Oregon Trail and "The Witch of November, 1913" commemorates the storm that battered the Great Lakes and sank 12 ships, killing more than 270 people. These clever reworkings end with factoids about each poem; a two-page map pinpointing the location of each rhyme, and a one-page list of map activity and poem-related questions (with answers). Discussion questions wrap up these activities.—Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934359969
  • Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/10/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lucy Nolan spent many childhood days roaming two very special islands: Pawleys Island, SC, and Amelia Island, FL, where she collected the family stories that were shared around the dinner tables of hundred-year-old homes. It was only natural that she would eventually combine her love of the sea and storytelling into Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys and Gulls (Sylvan Dell, Fall 2009). This playful book retells Mother Goose rhymes and embodies everything Lucy loves about America's coastlines! Lucy has been writing since she was four years old and is the author of several picture books and the popular Down Girl and Sit chapter books. She is also a two-time winner in the South Carolina Fiction project, sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Lucy lives in Columbia, SC, with her daughter and two rambunctious dogs.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    fun and fascinating information

    Can you imagine what it would be like if our favorite nursery rhymes had been told by Mother Osprey rather than Mother Goose? Of course, they would all relate to the water or the shore in some way. Mary might have a little clam instead of a little lamb. Jack and June would go up a dune. In "Sing a Song of Sixpence," there are four and twenty pelicans. "One flamingo, two flamingo, three flamingo, four. A flamboyance of flamingoes is a group of three or more." Rather than London Bridge, "Hatteras Light is Falling Down." And the old woman of this book lives in a shell, not a shoe.
    Children will enjoy comparing the old familiar nursery rhymes which they have heard to author Lucy Nolan's versions as told by Mother Osprey. They will also be exposed to a lot of fascinating information about the ocean, its animals, and related concepts as illustrated by Connie McLennan. The "For Creative Minds" section at the back of the book provides further material about the stories behind the book's eighteen rhymes, a map of the United States showing the locations of various things mentioned in the poems, and some map activity and poem related questions. Teachers and parents will also like the "Teaching Activities," "Interactive Quizzes," and "Related Websites" which can be found at Sylvan Dell's website. "Twinkle, twinkle, starfish dear."

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  • Posted July 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Quaint and refreshing take on nursery rhymes

    Mary had a little clam... hey, wait a minute. Isn't that supposed to read "lamb?" No, this is a book for boys and girls, possessed with a silly sense of humor, who prefer clams to lambs in their nursery rhymes (probably in their chowder too!). Up and down the east coast, over to the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi, into the Gulf of Mexico and with a hop, skip and a jump we're off to Oregon and on our silly sing song tour around the states. Let's take a little spin up to the northeast and check out "Lobster Pies."

    "Old Mrs. Wise
    made lobster pies,
    all on a winter's day;
    her greedy son
    grabbed every one
    and took them clean away."
    "What a surprise
    for Junior Wise
    lay inside that croaker sack.
    When he sat on a bench
    to eat a pinch,
    the lobster pies pinched back!"
    This is a very quaint and refreshing take on nursery rhymes that will be sure to enchant and transport the reader into the magical world of buoys and gulls. I smiled at some, giggled at others and enjoyed an interesting lesson on the names of animal family groups in One Flamingo. Some of the rhymes are fairly lengthy, while others are just four lines, but all are delightful and novel. The art work is vibrant, colorful and meshes very well with the nursery rhyme theme. In the back of the book are two pages containing factual materials about the rhymes, a map indicating their locations and a page of interesting questions for additional homeschool, individual or classroom activities. There are additional activities relative to this book on the Sylvan Dell website. Why do you think it took so long for Mary's clam to get to school? You'll have to read the rhyme and conduct a little research to answer that one!

    Quill says: Mother Goose should make a spot for this winsome book right next to herself on the shells, er, shelves.

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