cover image Wendy Watson's Mother Goose

Wendy Watson's Mother Goose

Wendy Watson. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $19.95 (160pp) ISBN 978-0-688-05708-4

Expanses of white space and crisp, clear watercolors give Watson's version of traditional nursery rhymes and jingles a clean, well-ordered look. Variety reigns, too: some verses are illustrated within a spread (``Ladybird, ladybird''), others with one small figure (``Jeremiah Obadiah'') and some with a border (``Here we go round the mulberry bush''). The characters are simple but beautifully expressive, and Watson's interpretations of the familiar verses are utterly inviting. For example, when Old Mother Hubbard can't produce a bone for her poor dog, in full view are three household cats eating their fill. The more than 200 verses are indexed by subject as well as by first line. If there are many choices to make when it comes to selecting a Mother Goose collection, Watson's is certainly among the most worthwhile. Ages 2-6. (Aug.)