Tail Feathers from Mother Goose: The Opie Rhyme Book

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9780316650816: Tail Feathers from Mother Goose: The Opie Rhyme Book
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An illustrated collection of traditional verses, most of which have never been published before.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Dinner rhymes, verses for "awkward moments" with children, poems about love, seafaring, the devil in the garden, nonsense lines loved by a family member and handed downall these have been culled from the Opie Collection of Children's Literature and appear in print here, in many cases for the very first time. A procession of more than 60 illustrators have created spreads for the rhymes: Caroline Anstey, Reg Cartwright, Bob Graham, Anthony Browne, Shirley Hughes, Charlotte Voake, Martin Baynton, Helen Oxenbury, Philippe Dupasquier, among many, many others. A sampling of the verses reveals their color and variety: the poetry of "Goose-Wing Chariot" ("Grey goose and gander / Waft your wings together,"), or the humor of "John Wesley" ("Now these two brothers had a coat, / They bought it on a Monday. / John Wesley wore it all the week / And Charlie on a Sunday,") or the solid, marching beat of "The Soldiers' Camp" ("Father and I went down to camp / Along with Captain Gooden, / And there we saw the men and boys / as thick as hasty pudden' "). The inclusion of definitions of unfamiliar words and phrases ("keekit" for peeped, "five ribbons" for army badges) helps to clear up any potential confusion. The many historical asides may prove invaluable for collectors and serious students of both children's literature and anthropology. A note might explain the way the verse has evolved, or the poem's source or contributorRobert Graves recited two to the Opies; Oliver Cromwell's descendent, Richard Warner, offered up "The Eccentric," complete with hand motions; and Robert Burns's wife Jean crooned a lullaby about a robin and a wren to her children. Not all the rhymes are unsigned: George Bernard Shaw provided one and called it his "Opus I." In these pages (and in the Opie Collection itself) it is possible to unearth further examples of the mysterious singsong phrases that have delighted many generationswords that have a lasting importance to children, long after they have become adults; verses that remain part of an oral tradition in a strictly documented world. A rare project indeed, and one that is sure to be of enduring value to children's literature. All ages.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

PreS Up This book is a treasure and also a means to preserve a treasure for all who care about children and their literature. Iona Opie selected these often-known but mostly-unpublished rhymes, and 62 of the finest artists for children have illustrated them. In many instances background information or ritualistic styles of reading or acting out are included. Sendak's cover and Janet Ahlberg's endpapers capture the humor and the pure joy of these rhymes and invite readers into a book containing surprise and delight on almost every page. Each double-page spread is illustrated by a different artist; all deserve mention, many a whole review. There is much dramatic contrast as one turns, for instance, from Helen Oxenbury's large humorously realistic image of the historic origins of ``The Great Panjandrum'' to Errol Le Cain's soft tartan page for ``Jacob and Joseph'' to Clive Scruton's small delicate storyboard frames for the ``Seafarer.'' Illustrations by Helen Craig, Jan Ormerod, Babette Cole, and Louise Voce are filled with hilarity and rollicking humor. Nicola Bayley's ``Paintbox People'' are precise and playful caricatures, but they share a luminous quality with Michael Foreman's mysterious ``Gypsy.'' Fascinating versatility of page layouts, visual interpretations, and artistic styles combine with this ``common heritage of the British and American people'' to create a work to be enjoyed by young and old alike. Kay E. Vandergrift, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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