cover image Missing Mother Goose

Missing Mother Goose

Stephen Krensky. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-385-26273-6

Krensky ushers children behind the scenes of seven well-known but somewhat enigmatic nursery rhymes. Lucidly fleshing out these ditties with delectable details, he explains why Old King Cole was so merry and how his prim daughter tried to change his carefree existence; how a mysterious visitor devised the curious scenario described in ``Hey Diddle Diddle''; how nimble Jack's leap over the candlestick changed his life; why Humpty Dumpty, a traveling stuntman, took a tumble; what drove the mischievous mouse to climb up the clock in ``Hickory Dickory Dock''; etc. Demarest's winsome cartoon drawings illustrate this waggish volume, which concludes with brief notes on the history of each rhyme. A welcome addition to the growing corpus of books offering new slants to familiar tales. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)