A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the prose is fluid in this odd and old-fashioned story. The black-and white illustrations complement the text but are not appealing to today's readers.
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What's the story?
Jennie, a Scottie dog who lives in a cushy setting, packs his bag when he decides \"there must be more to life than having everything.\" He runs into a pig who wears a sandwich board advertising for a leading lady for the World Mother Goose Theatre.
But Pig informs Jennie that she needs experience for such a job, which Jennie proceeds to go get by signing on as a nanny to a baby who won't eat.
A wrong turn in a hallway finds Jennie confronting a lion that wants to turn her into dinner, but the dog's courageous act saves the day and nets her a leading part in the play--but only after it is revealed that the baby is actually Mother Goose and that all the other characters are also actors. The book ends with a rendition of the play Higglety Pigglety Pop.
Is it any good?
This fairy tale-like story is moody and full of droll humor, more often to the delight of adults than that of children. The five-line Mother Goose rhyme of the title is the inspiration for this story of a dog leaving home in search of excitement. The tale takes some strange turns, and has some unsettling moments -- such as parents having moved away and forgotten their baby -- that could give readers pause.
The overall look of the book is as old-fashioned as the story itself. Small, crosshatched, black-and-white illustrations are reminiscent of the artwork of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and may not hold the attention of today's readers, who are used to full-color and full-page spreads. Young children may like the dog and other animal characters, but they will not understand the archaic phrasing and may grow impatient with the low picture-to-text ratio.