Old Mother Hubbard: A Nursery Rhyme

Overview

An irresistible Old Mother Hubbard, set in Victorian times. To make up for the bare cupboard she discovers when she goes to get a bone for her dog, Old Mother Hubbard sets out to find him something he will enjoy instead. David A. Johnson has created a lovely new interpretation of this comically absurd nonsense rhyme.

A retelling of the classic Mother Goose rhyme about the clever and contrary dog who preferred news to shoes, jigs to ...

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Overview

An irresistible Old Mother Hubbard, set in Victorian times. To make up for the bare cupboard she discovers when she goes to get a bone for her dog, Old Mother Hubbard sets out to find him something he will enjoy instead. David A. Johnson has created a lovely new interpretation of this comically absurd nonsense rhyme.

A retelling of the classic Mother Goose rhyme about the clever and contrary dog who preferred news to shoes, jigs to wigs, and cats to hats.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cheryl Peterson
This familiar nursery rhyme is accompanied by watercolor illustrations in muted oranges, browns and blues that show the antics of Old Mother Hubbard trying to please her dog. Mother Hubbard tries several ways to make up for her empty cupboard: "She went to the tailor's to buy him a coat, but when she came back he was riding a goat," and "She went to the cobbler's to buy him some shoes, but when she came back he was reading the news!" Preschoolers will laugh at the silly rhymes and delight in the absurd illustrations. A good way to introduce rhyme into the classroom as children can invent their own rhymes to go along with the story.
School Library Journal
In this nostalgic version of the classic nursery rhyme, Old Mother Hubbard is a plump and prosperous matron solicitously purchasing all sorts of treats for her contrary mongrel. All of the many familiar verses are recounted here, plus two rarely included elsewhere, that summarize the virtues of the woman's canine companion and describe his immortalization. Each verse shares a page with a smaller illustration of the dog's antics; on the opposite page is a full-size framed watercolor that depicts Old Mother Hubbard's shopping excursions. The warm sepia tones and pale, hazy atmosphere evoke the mists of time, and period costumes and settings effectively capture turn-of-the-century life. In addition to the whimsy of this nonsense rhyme, young listeners will enjoy the search for the sometimes easily spotted and sometimes cleverly hidden cat on each two-page spread. Tradespeople are depicted in realistic and amusing detail but both the cat and dog, while appealing, have disconcertingly vacant stares. Far more sedate than James Marshall's rollicking Old Mother Hubbard and Her Wonderful Dog (Farrar, 1991) and lacking the nursery-rhyme allusions in Tomie de Paola's The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and her Dog (Harcourt, 1981), this is an additional purchase to supplement preschool storyhours and to entertain the lap-sit crowd. Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Horn
Adding some pleasant but superfluous stanzas (and omitting those stanzas concerning beer and wine), the familiar nursery rhyme about Mother Hubbard and her bare cupboard has here been illustrated with delicate ink, watercolor, and pencil paintings featuring a more-or-less nineteenth-century cast. Rotund Mother Hubbard is lively and energetic; the frisky, trick-playing dog has appealingly floppy ears and soulful eyes; and viewers have the added pleasure of searching for a cat-sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden-on almost every spread. Visually sophisticated and with a sober palette, this may be a little too low-key for the nursery-rhyme audience, but it is certainly an elegant version of an old favorite.
Kirkus Reviews
Although fine lines and a low contrast palette give Johnson's paintings a faded, smudgy look, he effectively captures the classic nursery rhyme's flavor, decking the matronly Mother Hubbard out in sweeping 19th-century gowns that are ruffled, fur- trimmed and elaborately accessorized, then dispatching her to a series of elegantly appointed shops and stalls for goods to lavish on her pampered canine. Johnson drops or rewrites several of the standard version's verses, and adds two of his own that permanently finish off said dog. The illustrations are skillfully rendered, but his interpretations are so free that young readers will search in vain for details such as the tripe, the coat, the linen, the hose, and even the bare cupboard that sparks Mother Hubbard's chain of errands; the visual humor, next to James Marshall's sly, silly take in Old Mother Hubbard and Her Wonderful Dog (1991), is decidedly mild. Notwithstanding Johnson's strong stylistic ties to illustrators such as Randolph Caldecott and E. Boyd Smith, adults are the likeliest audience for this volume.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689814853
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 3/10/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.57 (w) x 11.38 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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