Pearson, Tracey Campbell, Illustrator

Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

(2) PS "Girls and boys come out to play, / The moon doth shine as bright as day. / Leave your supper, / Leave your sleep, / And come with your playfellows into the street." Pearson's single-rhyme Mother Goose opens on a contemporary nighttime scene of a diverse neighborhood of children getting ready for bed. Then Mother Goose appears and issues the titular invitation. The children frolic briefly in the street, after which Mother Goose leads them "up the ladder and down the wall"--in this rendition, a demarcation, as the setting now changes to a more pastoral traditional fairy-tale world inhabited by such nursery-rhyme characters as Humpty Dumpty (and all the king's men), the dish and the spoon, and Little Boy Blue. (The players are helpfully identified on the CIP page and on endpapers containing eight additional rhymes.) A moment of humor arrives when Mother Goose realizes that just one halfpenny roll will not feed them all, as the rhyme claims, and everyone pitches in to make more "pudding." Sprightly watercolor illustrations in a mix of double-page spreads and vignettes pace the action perfectly; the many details will keep and hold youngsters' attentions--a small child who hangs back ("Come with a good will...or not at all"); Jack and Jill's pail being used to milk the cow to make the pudding. In the end, with full bellies and having been read a story (from a Mother Goose book, natch), the now-yawning children head home for bed, and Mother Goose flies off into the night. "Good night. Sweet dreams."


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