The Inner City Mother Goose

The Inner City Mother Goose

by Eve Merriam
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

As timely today as when they were first written, Eve Merriam's pithy and provocative updates of traditional Mother Goose rhymes comment on social and political issues that still exist. Her satire brings attention to the conditions of our inner cities in a form that has long been a part of our folk tradition. Full color.

Overview

As timely today as when they were first written, Eve Merriam's pithy and provocative updates of traditional Mother Goose rhymes comment on social and political issues that still exist. Her satire brings attention to the conditions of our inner cities in a form that has long been a part of our folk tradition. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
In its 1969 printing, this book sold 100,000 copies and it became the basis for the 1971-72 Broadway musical Inner City. To Merriam's surprise, it also was "just about the most banned book in the country." Merriam was one of the strongest voices in children's poetry and the seventy-one poems fulfilled her need to take up a number of distressingly familiar topics that she felt we dare not close our eyes to. She writes about everything from inadequate housing to cutbacks in essential community services with an eloquence that is hard hitting and perfect in irony, meter, and truth. With a variety of voices, styles, and treatments, she refused to shy away from what she saw. She used soft expressions of harsh truths as in, "Now I lay me down to sleep / I pray the double lock will keep; / May no brick through the window break, / And no one rob me till I wake." The new version has even more power with an added forward by Nikki Giovanni and illustrations by Caldecott-award winning artist David Diaz. 1996 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Once upon a time-in 1969-the prolific, insightful Merriam penned these prophetically painful words. Fortunately for readers, they are still available. Unhappily ever after, however, they still ring disarmingly true. Originally written as a form of social and political commentary, the book was reprinted in 1982 and greeted with much controversy. The words are hard, honest, and, at times, harsh. The poetry is given fresh and updated verve with bold, multicultural illustrations by Diaz and an introduction by Nikki Giovanni. The Inner City Mother Goose travels to the place many fear to tread-and records the anger, agony, and angst present in everyday life. Unemployment, housing woes, drugs, violence, corruption, and neglect are presented in solid, rhythmic lines like "Now I lay me down to sleep/ I pray the double lock will keep," and "There was a crooked man,/ And he did very well." If Merriam thought her lines were appropriate in 1969, she would be saddened to know of their expanded meaning today. Giovanni's introduction leaves readers with perhaps the best reason to read and reread these lines- "Sticks and stones are easily forgotten; it is the words that stay with us."-Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671202903
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
02/28/1983

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >