Elem. – Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

Mother Goose. Girls and Boys Come out to Play. Illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson. Holiday House, 2021. 978-0-823-44713-8. Unpaged. $18.99. Grades PreK-1.

Illustrator Tracey Campbell Pearson brings to life the lesser known Mother Goose poem “Come Out to Play” in her newest picture book. Beginning with a child reading a book of Mother Goose poems, Mother Goose herself arrives to call for “Girls and boys come out to play.” They go, “Up the ladder and down the wall” as various characters from Mother Goose’s rhymes appear like Humpty Dumpty, The Cat, The Baker, and Jack and Jill. The children then act out the end of the poem, making pudding, before returning to their homes for “Sweet dreams” as Mother Goose flies away. The mix of ink and watercolor illustrations are the key to bringing this poem to life. Pearson represents a variety of children in her illustrations and weaves eight classic Mother Goose characters onto the pages. The expressions of the characters enhance the text and help young children see the dilemma the children face with Mother Goose. Additionally, the cover pages feature the eight rhymes represented through the illustrations and can be read in conjunction with the picture book or separately.

THOUGHTS: This text is a great way to teach rhyming poetry and introduce children to nursery rhymes and Mother Goose. The illustrations are gorgeous and would make lovely prints.

Picture Book          Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD

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