As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

April 28, 2012

THE WATER SEEKER by Kimberly Willis Holt, 2010

Amos Kincaid is the son of a dowser – a person gifted in knowing how to “find” water deep in the ground.  As a young person, Amos doesn’t reveal his gift to others; he’s not sure he wants the burden.  But through his experiences growing up and crossing the Oregon Trail, Amos learns about life’s harsh realities, especially the pain in losing loved ones.  As he cares for those around him, Amos comes to accept his dowsing fate.  This epic novel is a fascinating period piece about the westward expansion and one man’s destiny as he searches for love and family. (Goodreads)

Review by Kim Harris Thacker, writer, mommy, and Bookshop Talk Host 

Kimberly Willis Holt is known for tackling unique subjects well, and THE WATER SEEKER is nothing if not unique. But it’s also a story as deep and as pure as a good well. It’s a story of family, persistence, courage, fear, and enduring love.

THE WATER SEEKER is atypical young adult fiction in that it begins before the main character (Amos) is born and ends when he is a grown man with a child of his own. Amos is not a perfect person. The people he loves aren’t perfect either, nor are the people who love him (sometimes these aren’t the same people). But that is part of what makes this incredible story so believable. Another reason this is such a believable book is that it is a work of well-research historical fiction, perfect for the person who is interested in learning about early American pioneers. I have a lot of pioneering ancestry, and I felt such a kinship to my predecessors as I read this book, not only because I learned a lot about what life might have been like for my ancestors, but because “family” is such a strong theme in this book, one can’t help but reflect on and appreciate those who have gone before us.

The prose in THE WATER SEEKER is spare, and perhaps because it is so spare, it is also utterly striking. One of my favorite images comes from a segment of the book where Amos is a part of a wagon train heading West from Independence, Missouri along the Oregon Trail. Many of the pioneering families brought treasured pieces of furniture with them in their wagons, but soon realized their loads were too heavy for the trip. Amos sees a string of pianos, trunks, chifforobes, and chests lining the trail, which cuts through a sea of tall, green grass. Heartbreaking and gorgeous.

One last thing: Make sure you read this with a box of tissues on hand. While there is plenty to chuckle about, there is even more to cry about. Sometimes I even cried just because the language was so beautiful... 

Market: young adult, historical fiction
Language: mild
Sensuality: mild (a kiss; some romantic thoughts; allusions to conception)
Violence: mild (I wouldn’t necessarily call the physical trauma in this book violence, per se—it was mostly very tragic accidents and deaths resulting from illness/childbirth)
Mature Themes: prejudice against Native Americans; death; abandonment; inability to bear children; physical hardship; poverty; abuse (All of these themes are handed so tastefully, but coping with tragedy in general is a big overall theme in this book—it is a book that, in my opinion, parents should read with preteens and sensitive teens.)

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April 25, 2012


A hero with an incredible talent...for breaking things. A life-or-death rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network...the evil Librarians. Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them! infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness. (Goodreads)

Review by Emily, high school student and bibliophile

Oh, this book makes me laugh until I cry. Aside from its being hilarious, it is also odd, and a little bit alarming.

It is about a boy who breaks things. He has made breaking things into a true art. He can do it with elan, and a little bit of strangeness. He has, it is rumored, broken a chicken. Truly, he can break anything. And his name is Al. Not Al as in Albert or Alfred or Alonzo, but Al as in Alcatraz. As in the prison. His parents must have been rather sadistic to name a child Alcatraz.
When the story begins, it makes no sense. As it goes on . . . well, it still makes no sense, but you begin to see a hint of method to the madness. Except for, perhaps, the beginnings of the chapters. They make no sense at all. They are not supposed to, but they are funny all the same.
In any case, this book does not make sense (and has no intention of doing so,) but it is funny, as is the author's blurb in the back of it. As long as you are not looking for a deep and hidden meaning, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is a wonderful book to read. It goes by quickly, because while I was reading it, I was so immersed that I often lost track of time. I also made odd noises, apparently, prompting many questions like, "Are you all right?" and "What is the matter with you - or that book?"
There is nothing the matter with either me or the book. It is simply impossible to read it without occasional snorts of derision or amusement. Sometimes both. Because it truly is an odd book, and one well worth reading.

Market: Children's Fiction
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: Abandonment, responsibility

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April 22, 2012

CIRCLE OF MAGIC: SANDRY'S BOOK, by Tamora Pierce, 1999

With her gift of weaving silk thread and creating light, Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief who has a way with plants; Daja, an outcast gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. At Winding Circle, the four misfits are taught how to use their magic - and to trust one another. But then disaster strikes their new home. Can Sandry weave together four kinds of magical power and save herself, her friends, and the one place where they've ever been accepted? (Goodreads)

Review by Pica, avid bookworm

Of the four Circle of Magic books, Sandry's Book is the one I had the most and fondest memories of when rereading this series for the first time since middle school. Sandry's Book, more than any other book in the quartet, focuses on the characters more than the actual events that take place. In the other Circle of Magic books, there is one central goal throughout the book. In Sandry's Book, however, the focus is on each of the four characters' development individually and as a group.

Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar are four children who come from very different backgrounds, but each for some reason or another find themselves alone. Sandry comes from a noble family, hidden away when sickness (a pox, I think) strikes the family, and a mob takes over the estate, leaving her orphaned. Tris, a merchant's daughter, is considered by her family to be unnatural and possibly possesed because of the strange things that happen, such as lightning striking without warning when she is upset, and is sent away from home. Daja is a Trader, the only survivor of a shipwreck. When she is rescued, she is deemed trangshi, bad luck, and therefore is forbidden to have contact with any other Traders. Briar, called Roach at the beginning of the book, is a "street rat" who burgles and picks pockets for a living. He has been caught a third time and is about to be sentenced to life's labor at the docks. They are each discovered by the mage Niklaren Goldeye, or Niko, as he is called, and taken to the Winding Circle temple, where they learn magic based on ordinary skills. Sandry's magic has to do with weaving and threadwork, Tris is a weather mage, Daja works with metals, and Briar has plant magic.

Pierce used Sandry's Book to really get to know the characters before diving into the crises of the other books. It may seem like an odd choice to have little intense action, but it works perfectly in the context of the series as the four main characters must come together to overcome all of the challenges they face. As a character person (well, I'm an everything person, but I like strongly developed characters), Sandry's book and the series as a whole was refreshingly character-centered. 

Within the book, the story switches between the four, which may frustrate some (although it stays in third person), but it was one of my favorite parts. The secondary characters, such as Niko or their guardians at Discipline (where they live within Winding Circle), Lark and Rosethorn, are all well developed, one of Pierce's obvious strengths.

Sandry's book was written for a middle grade audience. The books are not overly complex, but they are well-written and fun to read. They not nearly as intense as many YA books, and although intense, high-speed, plot-based books are often fantastic, it's nice to have a break. And although I feel like I'm contradicting myself, I have to mention that they're not overly light and fluffy. Although they're not books that keep you from sleeping until you finish, they have complex characters with struggles of their own, and not everything ties up nicely, just as it doesn't in life. Recommended for Middle Grade readers. 

A good opening to the series. Very character driven. No set goal established at the beginning of the book - the characters need to find each other before they can work together. A strong MG.

Market: Middle Grade

Language: None (there are some words that are offensive to the characters, but none are offensive to the reader - e.g. Daja calls the others "kaqs," an offensive word for non-traders)

Sensuality: None
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: coming-of-age

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April 19, 2012

HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, by Diana Wynne Jones, 1986

Sophie lived in the town of Market Chipping, which was in Ingary, a land in which anything could happen, and often did--especially when the Witch of the Waste got her dander up. Which was often. As her younger sisters set out to seek their fortunes Sophie stayed in her father's hat shop. Which proved most unadventurous, until the Witch of the Waste came in to buy a bonnet, but was not pleased. Which is why she turned Sophie into an old lady. Which was spiteful witchery. Now Sophie must seek her own fortune. Which means striking a bargain with the lecherous Wizard Howl. Which means entering his ever-moving castle, taming a blue fire-demon, and meeting the Witch of the Waste head-on. (Goodreads)

Once in a while we receive reviews of the same book from two people, so we're including both reviews here:

Review by Mattie Noall; Avid reader, Mother of 6, and Aspiring author.

This book was recommended by the author Jessica Day George. I read the entire series which starts with the moving castle. The other two books are Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways. I liked the first book first. It has a lot of fun twists and turns. I would love to have a house that could be in four places at once, it would make traveling a lot easier.

Sophie is my favorite character. She has enough spunk and force to really drive the story. I like that she is some what of a witch without knowing it. That makes her humble unlike Howl. I know I would feel like Sophie in Howl's house. I would probably clean up too. I also like Calcifer. It is fun to have a fire that is alive but then again, what else would I expect out of a wizard's house.

The ending was a pleasant surprise. I didn't expect the Witch of the Waste's fire demon to be who it was. I also thought that Howl would end up with Sophie's sister, Lettie. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy with a fun twist.


Review by Emily, high school student and bibliophile

I'm not sure where I picked this book up, or how I came to read it. I vaguely remember reading something about an oldest sister who went off to have adventures on the back cover, but that is about all that I remember about that.
Because the story instantly transported me to the strangest world I think I've ever seen. In Ingary, "where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist", even commonplace items like fires and scarecrows are given fantastical life. It's a place where eldest sisters are rather neglected. Sophie Hatter is one such elder sister, and she is about to fade into obscurity in the back of a dusty little hat shop - but for the day that she decides to go visit her sister.

You see, when she comes back from that most alarming trip, she finds that a wicked witch has invaded her hat shop. Slightly angry and more frightened, she talks back to the woman and ends up saddled with a remarkable curse. The only one powerful enough to save her from this curse is the wizard Howl, who is reputed to eat young lady's hearts, and who has an alarmingly black and smoke-wreathed castle . . . that moves.

But Sophie turns out to be fearless when forced to rise to the occasion. Her exploits amaze and amuse as the story progresses. She makes a wonderfully grumpy main character, and I love her for it. I think that if I could meet her, I would want desperately to be her friend.

Hidden in all its twisty plots, this book has a furtive sense of humor that sneaks up on the reader. It also has some weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, and copious amounts of green slime. And I love it all.

Young adult fiction.
Language: None.
Sensuality: Some. Howl is always after girls to love them then leave them.
Violence: Mild. There are a couple of magical fights. The Witch kills someone.
Mature Themes: Death, love, vanity.

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April 16, 2012

THE MERMAID'S MADNESS, by Jim C. Hines, 2009

There is an old story — you might have heard it — about a young mermaid, the daughter of a king, who saved the life of a human prince and fell in love. So innocent was her love, so pure her devotion, that she would pay any price for the chance to be with her prince. She gave up her voice, her family, and the sea, and became human. But the prince had fallen in love with another woman. The tales say the little mermaid sacrificed her own life so that her beloved prince could find happiness with his bride. The tales lie. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by: Laina, a bookworm

I love retold fairy-tales. I adore them. I could read stacks of retold fairy-tales. And I have. I love the surprising twists, the blending of several of your favorite tales. This is the second book in this series by Jim C. Hines. I've read it three times so far, so obviously I love it.

Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella are the heroines of these this book. Snow White goes by the name Snow. Sleeping Beauty prefers not to speak of her past or curse, her name is Talia. Cinderella is Danielle. These girls are a team, kind of like Charlie's Angels set into classic fairy-tales. The Mermaid's Madness is a retelling of the Little Mermaid. Lirea is the the 'little mermaid' from the story, but it didn't go the way you think. Instead of sacrificing herself to save her prince she killed him when he left her for another. Then she went crazy.

This is no cute little story of love and sacrifice, but of madness, murder, and magic gone wrong. Jim C. Hines writes the story that is after the 'happily ever after'. His princess don't sit around and wait to be rescued, they go out and fight. No damsels in distress here, these are weapon wielding girls who will do whatever it takes to fight and protect the ones they love.

If you've ever thought the whole 'and they lived happily ever after' thing didn't seem right, then try the books in this series (I think they are called the Princess Novels). The books are funny, actions packed, adventurous fairy-tale retellings. The first book is called the Stepsister's Scheme and it is about Danielle's (Cinderella's) stepsisters coming back for revenge. The Mermaid's Madness is the second. Red Hood's Revenge is a look at Little Red Riding Hood like you've never seen her before, that's the third book. The fourth is called The Snow Queen's Shadow, I haven't read that one yet so I cant say much about it.

Market: Young Adult to Adult Fiction
Language: Some, but it's more like twisting of magical things (Pixie farts for example)
Sensuality: Moderate
Violence: Not graphic gore, but there is
Themes: madness, murder, magic, princesses, fairy-tale retelling

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April 13, 2012

HANA'S SUITCASE, by Karen Levine, 2002

In March 2000, a suitcase arrived at a children's Holocaust education center in Tokyo, Japan. Hana Brady was written on the outside. Children who saw the suitcase on display were full of questions and the director decided to find the answers. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Kelly, book lover and avid reader

 When I was in college, I was asked to find some books about the Holocaust that one of study abroad groups could read as they traveled to the Czech Republic. I came across so many that I loved but none of them touched me quite like Hana's Suitcase.

Hana's Suitcase follows the true story of a school teacher in Japan who has begun a Holocaust center in Tokyo. She recieves boxes full of artificats to put in the museum and one of them stands out to her- a suitcase with the name Hana Brady on it. Teh children beg the director of the museum to tell them the story of Hana, but no one has any idea of who she is or what happened to her. Having nothing but the name to go on, the teacher begins an incredible journey of following Hana's story from the beginning and the rest of the story is incredibly moving.

The book chapter's alternate between present day Japan and Hana's story. The story is moving and powerful. Hana's story is similar to those of other children who experienced the Holocaust, but the addition of the Japanese school children really brought this book home to me. Their quest to find out about Hana and her family was genuine and passionate. While this story is written for children, I found that adults really get into and appreciate the story as well. It tells the story of the Holocaust without overwhelming the reader at all.

This is a quick read and a book that you will not forget for a long time. I recommend the book to as many people as I can and I hope that once you read it, you'll do the same.

Market: Middle Grade, Nonfiction
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: Mild- talk of the Holocaust but not explicit
Mature Themes: Holocaust literature- heavy topic but uplifting story

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April 10, 2012

DEERSKIN, by Robin McKinley, 1993

As Princess Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her breathtaking beauty she is the mirror image of her mother, the queen. But this seeming blessing forces her to flee for safety from her father's wrath. With her loyal dog Ash at her side, Lissar unlocks a door to a world of magic, where she finds the key to her survival - and an adventure beyond her wildest dreams... (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Laina, an artist, bookworm, knitting, horse-back riding, somewhat writer

Deerskin is one of my favorite books. One because I have far too many favorite books. Robin McKinley's books are always beautiful, but this one was haunting and beautiful. This book kept me up at night until I finished it, and it haunted me even after I finished it.

There are some books that just touch your soul. This was one that gripped mine. I ached at the injustice and the pain. I cried for the loss. I smiled at the hope.

I have never read the fairy tale this book is loosely based off of, so i don't know how much is the same or different. In Deerskin, the story is about Princess Lissar and her best friend and companion, her dog Ash. She is a lonely, in shadows princess, eclipsed by her radiant parents. At her mother's death, Lissar's father goes slightly mad. Lissar rarely sees her father until her seventeenth birthday. Lissar fears her father. She sees something in his eyes.

Princess Lissar and Ash flee from a horrible pain and terror. I wont give away the rest. You need to read for yourself the magic of this book. It is a story of human darkness and the will to survive. This is not a little children's book. This is an emotionally powerful story. If I could describe it in just two words, I would say: Haunting and Beautiful.

Market: Adult Fiction
Language: None that i remember
Sensuality: Mild
Violence: Mild
Mature Themes: death, abuse, love

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April 7, 2012

THE PENDERWICKS, Series by Jeanne Birdsall, 2005, 2008, 2011

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures. The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget. (Goodreads)

Series reviewed by Rosalyn

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

This was an absolutely delightful book about (as the title says) four sisters and the young boy they meet on their summer vacation. The story (and the series itself) sort of reads as a more modern version of the Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield (if anyone remembers reading those as a child). The sisters, Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty, are a fun mix of personalities: Rosalind, the oldest at 12, tries desperately to take care of her younger sisters, as she promised at her mother's deathbed. Skye is the tomboy of the family, Jane the dreamer, and Batty an independent minded four-year-old. There's nothing profound about the story, but the misadventures of the family are wonderfully and simply told.

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street

This sequel to The Penderwicks holds the same charming cast of characters as the original, and it was a joy to go back to their world. In this story, the four Penderwick sisters join forces to thwart their father's efforts to re-enter the dating world (in response to a request made via letter by his wife before her death--not out of any personal inclination). Although the ending is pretty obvious from the beginning of the story, it's still fun to see the sisters in action. I love how well Birdsall describes the world of children--particularly of Rosalind, who is just emerging from childhood into adolescence. A good read for anyone who likes well-written children's lit--particularly for girls (probably 8-12).

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette

The third book in the series is another charming installment of life in the Penderwick family. The three youngest Penderwicks go on a summer holiday with their aunt to Point Mouette, Maine, while Rosalind is off to visit a friend. Although everyone agrees Rosalind deserves the vacation, this leaves Skye as the OAP (Oldest Available Penderwick) and she's distinctly apprehensive about the responsibility. The only bright spot, for Skye, is the possibility of a visit from their good friend Jeffrey (from the first book). Jane and Batty, meanwhile, befriend a neighboring musician and discover--to their surprise--that Batty might actually have musical talent. As the various friendships grow over the summer, the sisters make an alarming discovery about their new neighbor--one that might tear apart the relationships they've worked so hard to build.

This third book has a little more drama than the first two books, but I still enjoyed the warmth of Birdsall's writing. I did miss Rosalind (probably my favorite sister) and wish she'd been around for more than the first and last chapters. However, this book was still a fun and heartwarming read. I'm curious to see where the Penderwicks go next!

Market: Middle Grade 
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: None
Mature Themes: mild discussions of death, as the mother died of cancer when the youngest (Batty) was born.

Book formats:

April 4, 2012

HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL TRAVEL, by Robert Heinlein, 1958

First prize in the Skyway Soap slogan contest was an all-expenses-paid trip to the Moon. The consolation prize was an authentic space suit, and when scientifically minded high school senior Kip Russell won it, he knew for certain he would use it one day to make a sojourn of his own to the stars. But "one day" comes sooner than he thinks when he tries on the suit in his backyard -- and finds himself worlds away, a prisoner aboard a space pirate's ship, and heading straight for what could be his final destination.... (Goodreads)

Review by Megan, reader and writer wannabee

I love books that make me feel like I’ve learned something, even if it isn’t really relevant for day to day life.  I like to know, simply because I think it’s cool, and I like books that teach me stuff.  This is one of the best.  Want to know how far Pluto is from the Sun?  Or how long it would take to get from Pluto to Earth at 1 Gravity?  Or how many light years Vega 5 is from our sun?  It’s all there, along with interesting discussions on interstellar travel, slide-rules and, of course, spacesuits. 

Clifford “Kip” Russel wants to go to the moon.  Not just idly like most people, but really and truly.  So, he decides to study to become an engineer in college.  He reads and teaches himself what he doesn’t get in high school, and when he graduates, he applies to big schools like MIT, even though he doesn’t know how he’ll pay tuition.  And then Skyway Soap announces a slogan contest and the top prize is a trip to the moon.  Kip doesn’t win the trip, even though he sends in a couple hundred entries to improve his chances.  He does win an honest to goodness space suit though, and quickly plies his engineering knowledge into making it work.  One night as he is walking around in the backyard in his fully operational spacesuit, Kip gets a call on the “space band” of his radio.  Someone named “Peewee” wants landing directions.  Without thinking, Kip guides the spaceship in, and is soon tossed into an adventure involving 11 year old female geniuses, invading aliens and the wonderful creature Peewee calls “the Mother Thing”.  Kip’s travels take him to the moon, Pluto and literally out of our galaxy to a trial that will decide the fate of the human race.

This is science fiction at its best.  The scope is wonderful, and the most incredulous happenings are made credible by Kip’s careful analyses.  Fans of Star Trek or Isaac Asimov will love this book, as will anyone who likes a good adventure story.

Market: Middle Grade to YA, but adults enjoy it as well.
Language: None I can remember
Sensuality: None
Violence:  moderate
Mature Themes: Self-sufficiency, ‘Dead Lion vs. Live Louse’ code of conduct, man-eating aliens, humanity on trial

Book formats:

April 1, 2012

FAVORITE NURSERY RHYMES FROM MOTHER GOOSE illustrated by Scott Gustafson, 2007

From nonsense to lessons learned, these 45 rhymes include the very well known (Itsy Bitsy Spider) and the somewhat familiar (Hickety, Pickety, My Black Hen). The truly fantastic pictures speak more than a thousand words as artist Scott Gustafson riffs in paint on themes present and imagined in each verse. (Goodreads)

Review by Kim Harris Thacker, writer, mommy, and Bookshop Talk Host

I’ve always loved Mother Goose rhymes! When I was a young child, I thought they were peculiar and humorous even as I jumped rope to them. My love of the rhymes grew as I did, and during my teenage years, I learned that many of what we call the Mother Goose verses are actually loaded with hidden meaning.

As the mother of two young children, I have done my fair share of bedtime nursery rhyme reciting...and long-car-trip-time nursery rhyme reciting, too. And because I love these rhymes, I have created my own mental vision of what the characters look like. To me, Jack Horner (who sits in a corner eating his Christmas pie) is a red-cheeked, chubby little boy wearing knickers and a navy blue embroidered jacket and looking very pleased with himself. Peter (the pumpkin eater) has hair as orange as the pumpkins he eats (with a sharp knife). He also wears a malicious grin as he listens to his wife beating on the inside of the hollow pumpkin he has stuffed her in. He is rather violent, actually. I’m certain my children see pictures of the Mother Goose characters in their minds, too, as I recite the many rhymes I have memorized to them.

One of the biggest reasons I love Scott Gustafson’s illustrated FAVORITE NURSERY RHYMES FROM MOTHER GOOSE, is that Gustafson’s vision of the Mother Goose characters is so utterly unique. There are even animal characters and insect characters, such as nimble Jack (a grasshopper), who jumps over the candlestick! And the lion and the unicorn (who fight around the town) wear boxing gloves! How wonderful!

If you love the Mother Goose rhymes, you simply must find a copy of Scott Gustafson’s FAVORITE NURSERY RHYMES FROM MOTHER GOOSE. The illustrations are breathtaking and give new life to the familiar rhymes we know and treasure. There are also plenty of the less-familiar rhymes, too!

If you would like to learn more about the meanings of some of the more common Mother Goose rhymes, I suggest this website: Nursery Rhymes – Lyrics, Origins, & History! There is some scholarly debate regarding the meanings of rhymes, so you might want to look at other websites and read some of the many books about the Mother Goose rhymes, as well.

Market: picture book
Language: none
Sensuality: none (that is, nothing obvious—though the Mother Goose rhymes are not as child-appropriate as we often assume)
Violence: mild (again, nothing very obvious—cutting off tails with carving knives and such—though the true meanings of the rhymes are often horrifically violent)
Mature Themes: none (nothing overt, that is—once again, the Mother Goose rhymes contain more than meets the eye)

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