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Mother Goose Board Books for Little Ones

Nursery Rhymes That Chidren Love


Some of these board books include collections of Mother Goose rhymes while others contain only one nursery rhyme. All have colorful illustrations and will appeal to babies and toddlers, as well as children ages 3-5. Young children enjoy listening to, and repeating the rhymes. Yet, the books are not just good for you to read aloud to your child; because the books are sturdy, young children can also page through board books themselves. When it comes to the benefits of reading aloud to young children, Mother Goose Rules!

1. My First Mother Goose

Cover art for My First Mother Goose illustrated by Tomie dePaola

My First Mother Goose is a collection of Mother Goose rhymes illustrated by Tomie dePaola. The cover features a diecut Mother Goose, an old woman, standing with a goose. The board book contains 12 nursery rhymes, one per page, accompanied by an illustration in dePaola's light-hearted folkart-influenced style. The rhymes include: Humpty Dumpty, Georgie Porgie; Baa, Baa, Black Sheep; Little Boy Blue; and Little Miss Muffet. At about 7½ " x 8," My First Mother Goose is larger than most board books, providing ample room for a complete Mother Goose rhyme and an illustration on every page. (Grosset & Dunlap, Penguin Young Readers Group, 2009. ISBN: 9780448451992) Compare prices.

2. Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling

Cover art for Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling a board book

Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling is an unusual nursery rhyme book. The watercolor illustrations by Tracey Campbell Pearson provide a contemporary setting for this Mother Goose rhyme.  The illustrations portray a modern African-American family, something rarely seen in a board book, much less a nursery rhyme board book.  Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling begins with a toddler taking his Mother Goose book over to his father who is sitting on the sofa reading the newspaper. The little boy - "my son John" - snuggles up next to his dad to look at the book and the family dog snuggles up next to him. The rhyme continues with the actions of the family (and the dog) illustrating the action in the nursery rhyme.  (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. ISBN: 9780374308616) Check your local public library for this book; I found it at mine.

3. Humpty Dumpty and Other Rhymes

Cover art for the board book Humpty Dumpty and Other Rhymes
Candlewick Press

What makes this collection particularly appealing are the illustrations by Rosemary Wells, which feature her adorable bunnies and other animal characters, and the interesting selection of Mother Goose rhymes. While several of the nursery rhymes in Humpty Dumpty and Other Rhymes, namely Humpty Dumpty and Little Jack Horner, are well-known traditional rhymes, the other six are not, and, in fact, one was completely new to me. The Mother Goose rhymes were compiled by researcher Iona Opie. (Candlewick Press, 1996, 2001. ISBN: 9780763616281) Compare prices.

4. Hickory, Dickory, Dock and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes

Cover art for the board book Hickory, Dickory, Dock and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes d

This good-sized (about 8" x 8") board book features a padded cover and 21 rhymes, almost all of which are among the most popular Mother Goose rhymes. Artist Sonja Rescek populates her warm pastel illustrations with lots of round-headed children, along with the traditional nursery rhyme characters. Selections include Old King Cole, Humpty Dumpty and Little Miss Muffet. (Tiger Tales, An Imprint of ME Media, 2006. ISBN: 9781589257863) Compare prices.

5. Tomie's Baa, Baaa Black Sheep and Other Rhymes

Cover art for Mother Goose rhyme board bok by Tomie dePaola

Tomie's Baa, Baa, Black Sheep and Other Rhymes includes four Mother Goose rhymes: Baa, Baa, Black Sheep; Jack and Jill; Little Miss Muffet and Hey Diddle Diddle. Each rhyme is presented over multiple pages.  Each good-sized illustration by Tomie dePaola depicts one action described in the nursery rhyme, making it easier for young children to follow along. Until I read this book, I had forgotten what happened to Jack after he fell down. It was nice to see that verse included. (G.P. Putnam's Sons, A Division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 1986, 2004 board book edition. ISBN: 9780399243264) Compare prices.

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