Parents' Guide to

Mother Goose Stories

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Henson also-ran brings blah puppetry to classic folktales.

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If you've seen the grandeur and magic that Henson Studios is capable of, it's hard to see Mother Goose Stories as anything other than a poor copy of a great show like The Storyteller. It has, more or less, the same format (retellings of passed-down tales, though The Storyteller is more faithful to both plot and tone), but it's nowhere near as good. To begin with, the puppets, apparently made by a non-Henson company, are downright ugly. Their look is supposedly based on the art of Maxfield Parrish, who illustrated the L. Frank Baum book Mother Goose in Prose, which provided the source material for many of the tales in Mother Goose Stories. Maxfield Parrish's work is gorgeous, to be sure. These puppets? Not.

Sets, dialogue, even the child actors who play human roles like Jack, Jill, and Little Boy Blue, all seem like the down-on-their-luck versions of what you'd find in The Storyteller. The show isn't downright awful, mind you. It's just thoroughly mediocre; really only for Henson completists, very keen nursery rhyme enthusiasts, or, perhaps, those with way too much time on their hands.

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