The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense

 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
108 0
The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
October 05, 2022
ISBN
978-0763694340
Buy This Book
      
Mother knows best, but sometimes a little nonsense wins the day. Inspired by Dadaism’s rejection of reason and rational thinking, and in cahoots with Blanche Fisher Wright’s The Real Mother Goose, this anthology of absurdity unravels the fabric of classic nursery rhymes and stitches them back together (or not quite together) in every clever way possible. One by one, cherished nursery rhymes—from “Humpty Dumpty” to “Hickory Dickory Dock,” “Jack Be Nimble” to “Mother Hubbard”—fall prey to sly subversion as master of fracture Jon Scieszka and acclaimed illustrator Julia Rothman refashion them into comics strips, errant book reports, anagrams, and manic mash-ups. Playfully reconstructed, the thirty-six old-new rhymes invite further baloney, bringing kids in on the joke and inviting them to revel in reimagining. Featuring robust back matter, this irreverent take on the rhymes of childhood is a great gift for child readers, a rich classroom resource across grade levels, and a love song to a living language.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Imaginative and Preposterous
Overall rating
 
3.8
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
‘The Real Dada Mother Goose: A Treasury of Complete Nonsense’ by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Julia Rothman, combines definitions, Morse Code, comics, news articles, recipes, hieroglyphs, crosswords, haikus, and more, in expertly wacky fashion, to create a book that contains exactly what the title implies—nonsense!

Notes can be found in later pages in the book to interpret Morse Code, Esperanto, and secret codes such as Pig Latin and reverse alphabet. Haikus, rebuses, and hieroglyphs are also further explained for those who want to know more.

This absurdly ridiculous sharing of classic nursery rhymes that have been torn apart to make new, imaginatively retold, preposterous rhymes makes for a book that has no real reason other than to amuse and delight readers who are looking for something astonishing and bizarre to enjoy.
Good Points
This absurdly ridiculous sharing of classic nursery rhymes that have been torn apart to make new, imaginatively retold, preposterous rhymes makes for a book that has no real reason other than to amuse and delight readers who are looking for something astonishing and bizarre to enjoy.
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Making nonsense from beloved rhymes
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
N/A
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
What worked:
Scieszka is known for twisting familiar stories into unexpected, hilarious retellings and this book is written in the same spirit. It’s similar to The Stinky Cheese Man in that it creates new variations of many tales although it’s more directed at upper elementary students. The author doesn’t necessarily change the stories overall but he presents them in different formats. Humpty Dumpty is retold using Morse Code, computer language translations, and in other ways. Old Mother Hubbard is presented in reverse, with new verb alternatives, and without vowels. The end result is a collection of amusing fairy tales and nursery rhymes that are sure to entertain.
At the back of the book, readers will find useful, non-fiction references related to nonsense created by playing with familiar stories. One rhyme is modified using the military alphabet and is probably not familiar to young readers. The military uses the alphabet to clarify radio transmissions by spelling words with established terms to represent letters. Star is presented as Sierra for the letter S, Tango for T, Alpha for A, and Romeo for R. Other pages explain background information related to writing styles like haikus, spoonerisms, Jabberwocky, and something called N+7. Other pages describe how to write messages using simple codes.
The pages are enhanced by colorful, illustrations drawn by Julia Rothman. Unusual images are created from Scieszka’s zany interpretations so the pictures help to visualize what’s happening. References to Old Mother Luvven and hickory, dickory, dolphin become easier to imagine using their accompanying graphics. The different illustrations for the different versions of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” are clearer when able to see the rebus, anagrams, and scientific description. The author’s hilarious retellings of familiar nursery rhymes are even better when displayed with the beautiful pictures.
What didn’t work as well:
The humor in this book differs from the author’s previous books so reader expectations need to be flexible. As mentioned, the wittiness comes from twisting how the stories are written more so than modifying the stories themselves. The book may tickle new funny bones, but it’s still very charming and comical.
The Final Verdict:
Once again, the author proves he’s a master of nonsense as he fractures familiar, beloved fairy tales for readers’ amusement. The book is sure to please young readers and I recommend you give it a shot.
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