The Neighborhood Mother Goose (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards)) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-03-29 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 28 user ratings

"The Neighborhood Mother Goose was written and illustrated by Nina Crews. The author's overall purpose of the book is to portray everyday life with traditional nursery rhymes. The design of this book is what makes Crew's story unique and creative. I enjoyed the book overall and I would use this in my classroom and at home.

There are about 30-40 nursery rhymes that the author presents. The setting of the stories take place in a realistic city. The author uses realistic photography as the illustrations of the book. Each nursery rhyme corresponds with each photo. For instance, on page 24, it tells the nursery rhyme about "The itsy-bitsy spider" and has a photo of a spider climbing down the waterspout. The realism within the book creates a lively atmosphere. In addition, the photos are a collage of other pictures.
On page 6, there is a cat holding a violin, a spoon, a plate, a cow jumping over the moon, etc.
Also, there are close-ups and non-close ups in the photos. On page 54, the camera zoomed in on a lady bug. The author's purpose of focusing on certain objects help emphasize what the reader is reading about.

The text complexity of this book is simple. The text font color at times corresponds with the story. For instance, on page 8, there is a rhyme about roses are red. The audience can observe the connection between font color and the nursery rhyme.
" said.

"The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews

1. Genre: Mother Goose Picture Book

2. Summary: Pictures of real children and adults make the rhymes in this Mother Goose book come alive.

3. Critique:
a. Area for comment: The beautiful photographs and computer manipulations make this modern day book of traditional nursery rhymes a treasure.

b. Comment: Photographs and computer tools illustrate the nursery rhymes and make them real and believable for the reader.

c. Example: The ”Hey diddle diddle!” rhyme shows a computer manipulated picture of a real cat holding a fiddle, with an enlarged plate and spoon behind a fence, and up over the moon is a real cow, and there is a real dog with a real little boy laughing (p.6-7). My favorite is “There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead” (p.26). The picture shows a little girl with a little curl on her forehead and she is looking up with an “uh-oh” look on her face while she cuts Barbie’s hair!

4. Curriculum Connection: This book would be a great introduction for a class art project. Children could make their own illustrated nursery rhyme and poetry book by picking their favorite rhyme or poem and use old magazines to find pictures to cut out and use. After they arrange their pictures on the paper, they could print their poem on it, and then put them together for their own classroom book of rhymes and poems.
" said.

"Genre: Mother Goose Picture Book

This book introduces many classic Mother Goose rhymes and verses, like ‘Hey Diddle, Diddle’ and ‘The Itsy-Bitsy Spider’, as they take the readers through a local neighborhood.

a.) A major strength of this book is the photographs and the manipulation of such photographs to correlate with the theme of the specific rhymes and verses.
b.) The use of photographs opposed to cartoon-like illustrations helps the rhymes and verses in the book to be more relatable to the readers. The characters used in the photographs look just like any other person; readers can see themselves in the book. Also, the manipulation of the photographs helps to create this fantasy-like appeal that draws the attention of the reader and helps to get their imagination flowing.
c.) An example of a manipulation of the photographs is for the rhyme about Jack jumping over the candlestick. The photograph of the boy is decreased and placed within another photograph of a cupcake with a candle. The end result makes it look as though the boy in the picture is jumping over this massive over-sized cupcake. A young reader will more than likely think that is really cool and interesting.

Curriculum Connection: These classic rhymes and verses help young readers to understand word recognition and rhyming words. The repetition of these Mother Goose rhymes is part of growing up for most children.
" said.

"American Library Association Notable Book Award (ALAN) 2005
Notable Book of the English Language Arts (BELA) 2005
The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews brings traditional nursery rhymes into our modern day world. Nina Crews uses computer-enhanced photographs along with each rhyme. This contemporary spin on traditional nursery rhymes brings new life into the genre.
Today’s children can select this book and feel like it applies to their own life. Using a variety of images from the city of Brooklyn allows students who live in many parts of the country to make connections with the book. In addition, students can see children who look like themselves. Crews does a remarkable job including a diverse group of children and adults throughout the pages of the book. Perhaps the most creative illustration includes a horde of children running around blown-up shoes for the There was an Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe rhyme.
This book may be utilized in the classroom many different ways. Children can compare it to more traditional versions of nursery rhymes. Perhaps students can take pictures of their neighborhood as a backdrop for their own writing. Most importantly, The Neighborhood Mother Goose can be used for reading pleasure. It sends positive social messages about diversity and tolerance while promoting an ongoing appreciation of traditional nursery rhymes.
" said.

"Set in New York City, this fresh take on Mother Goose will appeal to a diverse population of young readers. Photo collages that include children and adults of various ethnicities are used to take the reader on a journey through the modern day city by way of age-old verses. Young readers will identify with the familiar images of children like themselves portraying the iconic characters in such rhymes as “Little Miss Muffet”, “Tweedledum and Tweedledee”, and “Jack Be Nimble”. The everyday setting of each photo collage is so recognizable that it seems entirely possible that one may have walked by Mary’s Garden (“Mary, Mary, quite contrary”) or not yet noticed that the Little Old Woman is living in a forgotten old shoe (“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe”). Both familiar and less known selections are included in this collection of forty-one rhymes, which are easily navigated by a table of contents located at the beginning of the book. The layout is clear and easy to follow, each illustration matched with a specific rhyme on each page. A literal image of a goose who one can only assume is the Mother herself, ushers the reader into and out of the book on the beginning and ending pages, unifying the collection as a whole body of work. Each page in between presents one example after another of how Mother Goose rhymes can still be entertaining and relevant to present and future generations. " said.

"Citation: The Neighborhood Mother Goose, written by Nina Crews (Amistad, 2004)

1. Genre: Children’s Book/ Mother Goose
2. Summary: The Neighborhood Mother Goose, by Nina Crews is a beautiful new rendition of the tried and true classical mother goose rhymes set against the urban background of Brooklyn, New York.
3. Critique:
a. The strength of this inspiring book is the author’s ability to present the classic Mother Goose rhymes with fresh new imagery that brings life to the old stand bys.
b. Through her use of urban photographs and computer manipulated images, the author draws in the reader, painting a new picture to go with the old words. By connecting the classic prose to the fresh modern urban images, the reader gains a different interpretation than the traditional drawing of the cow jumping over the moon.
c. This is evident on each page of the book, but the rhyme, “Hey Diddle, Diddle”, really conveys this. The author uses computer tools to create a brooding cat that is holding a fiddle as he watches a little boy running and laughing on the sidewalk in Brooklyn, all the while a silver spoon is peering over a wooden fence and a real cow is walking in the air above the moon! Children and adults will be captivated by the images the author has chosen to convey her message.
4. Curriculum Connection:
This story could be used in a variety of ways in the early elementary grades. I would use this book to introduce poetry. Below find some of the correlating Virginia SOLs.

5th grade Reading
D) Describe the characteristics of free verse, rhymed, and patterned poetry.
" said.

"1. Genre: Mother Goose picture book

2. Summary: Including real life photographs is such a great, contemporary twist to the timeless nursery rhymes that we all grew up hearing.

3. Critique:
a.) The illustrations in this story are photographs which makes the classic nursery rhymes we all grew up on more contemporary. The photographs really bring the classic rhymes to life.

b.) The real life photos help children to connect to the classic nursery rhymes. The photographs of real children really allows the kids to think, "Hey, this picture could be of me!" The book does a great job of making the children reading feel like they can be a part of the book too.

c.) My favorite picture in this story was for, "The Three Pigs." My mother and my grandmother used to read this nursery rhyme to me all the time as a child and I really connected with the picture of the mother with her daughter on her lap as they counted the toes while reading. Also, how can you not love the picture of the children peaking over the wall, one of which is too short to see, trying to peer down at poor Humpty Dumpty.

4. Curriculum Connection: This would be such a great book to use when teaching children nursery rhymes. There is no better way to present the rhymes than a modern twist with real photographs of children completing the tasks in the classic rhymes. The children can really connect with this book. It would be great to do an art project with the kids and have them make their own photographs or spins on the classic rhymes using magazines and such making them into collages. The kids could really go wild and create their own versions of the nursery rhymes.
" said.

"The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews (Greenwillow Books 2004). 63p Mother Goose.

Summary: This is a modern book of nursery rhymes. This book has 41 different nursery rhymes with contemporary illustrations that catch the reader’s attention.

a. The illustrations make the book look realistic and relatable while the pages are full of witty classic rhymes.

b. It was interesting that all the children in this book looked very realistic and even though a cow can’t jump over the moon in this book a real looking cow was jumping over the moon while a cat played the fiddle. Although these things can’t happen it was great how real they looked. Again when the little boy pulled fish out of his ears; although it is silly the illustrations made it look as realistic as it could. The illustrations went along with all the classic rhymes very well. The illustrations really made the book.

c. For example, on page 44 and 45 “The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” all the children were shrunk while the shoe was the normal size so it looked like she lived in a shoe with all her many children. The children all looked contemporary with their modern looking clothes that they had on. Then on page 58 and 59 it was interesting to see peppers in jars bigger than the normal and a small child climbing up the shelf to get to them.

Curriculum Connection: This is a good book for children when teaching them nursery rhymes. Since the illustrations are modern it is easier to relate to for children. The children could then do fun activities with the nursery rhymes.
" said.

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