the year of LIVING UNOFFICIALLY

365 days of celebration

01
May

Mother Goose Day

Posted by Brittany

Mother Goose DayGloria T. Delamar, author of Mother Goose; From Nursery to Literature, founded Mother Goose Day in 1987. With it’s goal of “re-appreciating the old nursery rhymes,” Mother Goose Day is celebrated around the United States, partiuclarly in libraries and elementary schools. Ironically, there was never really a “Mother Goose” at all. Some rumors persist, describing Mother Goose as a Boston grandmother living in the early 1600s, or a European queen — both women who loved entertaining children with stories and rhmes — but no evidence supports either of theses legends. In fact, the many writings attributed to the mythical author are actually collections of various authors since the 1600s — men and women who penned “Mother Goose” stories (fairy tales and nursery rhymes) without any author attribution. So, although Mother Goose appears as a character in one of these stories and is often depicted as an old woman rather than a goose in a bonnet, she never actually existed in real life form. But no matter — when it comes to the children who have been, or will be, entertained by Mother Goose, she is very much alive.

When I was little my mom read to me and my brother every night. We read Jack London and John Steinbeck, and childrens’ books too, but I don’t remember very many nursery rhymes and fairy tales. I’m sure, like any good parent, my mom and dad told us plenty, but I assume they were in those very early years that now make up part of my unconcios memory. As a result, I feel fairly confident about what I’ll read to my own future child once they graduate from toddler-hood, but I’m completely unfamiliar with what to read in my kid’s earlier years. I guess we’ll both be hearing some of those stories for the first time together (or at least what sounds like the first time to me). But books should be the easy part — I’m more worried about all of the lullabies and other songs I don’t know. Where would we be without CDs and iTunes?

To celebrate Mother Goose Day Chris and I re-familiarized ourselves with a few Mother Goose tales by watching seven episodes of Jim Henson presents Mother Goose Stories. Each eight minute episode re-tells a Mother Goose rhyme or fairy tale with puppets and child actors. The short series, though dated by today’s standards, was aired on the Disney Channel and won muliple awards in the early 1990s. At first I couldn’t stop giggling at the silly animation and over-the-top voice acting, but it didn’t take long for the child in me to awaken.

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