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Grumbles from the Town: Mother-Goose Voices with a Twist Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—A nice size for group read-alouds, this collection is similar to Yolen and Dotlich's first book of twists on nursery rhymes, Grumbles from the Forest. Here, the townsfolk have their say. The original rhymes are found in the endpapers and include many that are well known. There are 14 rhymes in all, with each poet writing one poem per nursery rhyme—with the exception of the last poem, "Three Blind Mice," a collaboration. At the book's beginning there is a "Dear Reader" letter that explains perspective and invites readers to create their own verses. The imaginative poems can tickle the funny bone: Yolen creates a Humpty Dumpty who excels as the class clown and is accident-prone, while Dotlich makes the entire Dumpty family out to be a bunch of "mischievous eggs" who are often in a scrape because they are "always in places/they shouldn't be." Many of Matteson's illustrations are spreads that use soft pastel colors and full-faced cartoon characters. VERDICT While the artwork in the first anthology was more evocative, the images here are effective but on the cute side. Still, an excellent choice for writing workshops and classroom prompts.—Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, MA
"This quirky Mother Goose book turns convention on its head. Each of the 14 selections contemporizes a traditional rhyme and pairs it with a rebuttal or an aside by a grumpy protagonist... inventive." Kirkus Reviews
"Creative... broad-ranging spins on Mother Goose nursery rhymes Whimsical, cartoonish acrylic-and-pencil illustrations incorporate playful details and decorative page embellishments, blending classic scenarios and contemporary settings and elements. A playful addition to any poetry section." Booklist
"The imaginative poems can tickle the funny bone an excellent choice for writing workshops and classroom prompts." School Library Journal
"Taking the traditional Mother Goose rhymes, Yolen and Dotlich have written two accompanying verses from a different point of view...each poem is short enough to keep children engaged. The acrylic and colored pencil illustrations are humorous and will appeal to the very young... (t)his title would be a great supplement to instruction in poetry or point of view for older children. Students would be encouraged to create their own twisted versions of Mother Goose rhymes." --Library Media Connection, Recommended
Top customer reviews
The illustrations add another layer to the experience. The opening note to readers is shown as being tacked to a wall, and underneath are ads for Peter Piper's Picked Peppers and a notice that some sheep have been found (call Bo Peep). One of the funniest pictures is that of the bleary eyed dog who can't get any sleep because of the snoring in "It's Raining, It's Pouring." All around him are birds sleeping in nests, frogs and squirrels snoozing, and the old man asleep in his armchair. They are all snoring away while the poor dog is tossing and turning in his doghouse, wide awake.
Whether you want to find out how the pail felt about the trip Jack and Jill made up the hill, or have always wondered how the rosebush felt about kids dancing round and round it - this is the book for you. And, as the authors suggest, once you are done reading, you should pick a rhyme and write your own new companion piece. Perhaps you would like to expand on "Georgie Porgie" or "Simple Simon." Whatever you choose, make it fresh and funny to go along with Grumbles from the Town.
I received a copy from the publisher for review purposes.