Mother Goose of Pudding Lane – A Small Tall Tale by Chris Raschka, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

 Mother Goose of Pudding Lane – A Small Tall Tale by Chris Raschka, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky, Candlewick Press, 9780763675233, 2019

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre: Historical fiction

What did you like about the book? The idea behind the book is to inform readers that there was a woman in Boston who was named Elizabeth Goose and was a mother to 14 children. Unfortunately, this is not made as clear as it could be. The book is dizzying, with the “Mother Goose” plot line in red, nursery rhymes in black, and silly illustrations throughout. The nursery rhymes are a good collection of well known, and more obscure sprinkled throughout the story. The illustrations are exaggerated pictures of the subjects in historical colors (lots of grey, white, red, and black). These illustrations do a good job at imagining the rhymes and “Mother Goose” herself, they fit perfectly with the book.

Anything you didn’t like about it? As said above, the idea behind the book is an interesting one. The history of a real “Mother Goose” from Boston is a very intriguing subject. Unfortunately, the layout of the book made this plot line intermixed with the nursery rhymes very confusing. It begins with a great background of the Goose Family, but once you pass the title/copyright page (which blends in really well with the rest of the book, you almost don’t realize that is what it is), the layout is very confusing. If the nursery rhymes didn’t stand on their own, but were pulled in as part of the historical plot it may have worked better. At the very least, it needed a historical note at the end of the book. Once again, it is a great idea, it just didn’t quite work as presented.

To whom would you recommend this book?  It could possibly be read at a story hour, the reader may just need to adjust how it’s read a little bit.

Who should buy this book? Public library

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Lindsey Hughes, Marstons Mills Public Library, Marstons Mills, MA

Date of review: 9/16/19

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