Mother Goose Numbers on the Loose

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Mother Goose Numbers on the Loose Book Poster Image
Number rhymes come alive with mischief and fun.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that numbers are the theme of this collection of traditional Mother Goose rhymes. Its playful perspective presents nothing unexpected and will be fun for kids who are learning to count.

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What's the story?

This is a collection of Mother Goose rhymes that use numbers in some way. Some of the poems are familiar, some are not, and a couple have been adapted in small ways by the authors.

Is it any good?

Kids love Mother Goose, and innumerable versions of her rhymes have been published; this particular collection targets kids who are learning to count, and they'll have fun with it. Most rhymes here are the old standards, but the focus on numbers and the boisterous illustrations bring a certain new energy to the pages. Spindly legged numerals dance into the parade of characters that stretch from the front cover to the end as Mother Goose chases after them, in a effort to gather them up again. Page after page is truly a celebration of numbers in some sense, from the simpler "1,2,3, the Bumblebee" to "Gregory Griggs Had 27 Wigs," and so on.

Painted in gouache on water color paper, with touches of pencil, characters range from the traditional warm, jolly wrens and roosters and washer-women to more fanciful images that seem to have escaped from some magical, mystical circus tour. This is just one of the many books created by the Dillons, who as a team have illustrated over 25 children's books and won two Caldecott Medals and five Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards as well as other prizes for their compelling artistic work.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can recite the Mother Goose verses together, point out the numbers, and count the eggs, letters, birds, etc., as they are mentioned on the pages. They might also enjoy talking about the various characters in the illustrations, who they are, and what exactly they are doing.

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