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Clare Beaton's Mother Goose Remembers

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PreS-Another Mother Goose book? This one is unusual because of its distinctive illustrations. Beaton has created an exquisite collection of nursery-rhyme pictures made of felt and antique fabrics, decorated with braid, buttons, and beads. The hand-sewn pictures are enhanced with precise appliqu and embroidery and are worth more than a second glance. The excellent craftsmanship that has gone into these illustrations makes the book a delight to pore over. The 46 rhymes, one to a page, are depicted with detail, right down to the tiny buttons used for eyes on the three little kittens. Each picture has an embroidered feather from Mother Goose for which youngsters can hunt. If your Mother Goose collection is overstocked, you might consider weeding to make room for this original, highly appealing version.-Janet M. Bair, Trumbull Library, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Beaton (One Moose, Twenty Mice) stitches and appliqu's her way through 46 nursery rhymes, including a few less familiar treasures most notably, "There Was an Old Woman Up in a Basket," about a senior citizen who goes to great heights to sweep cobwebs from the moon. She exquisitely and inventively crafts each picture from felt, antique fabrics and bric-a-brac. In "I Had a Little Nut Tree," for example, the tree is made from eyelet fabric and dotted with tiny wooden beads. Beaton's work evokes the cozy domesticity and unhurried days of a bygone era, and many adults may find it refreshing to find a Mother Goose untainted by zingy modern ironies. But unlike How Big Is a Pig (reviewed below), the sewn illustrations don't quite transcend their inherently decorative quality. Beaton seldom plays with perspective, perhaps because the design necessitates that she devote space within each illustration to incorporate longer texts. While ambitious, this compendium unfortunately fails to find new visual energy in these old chestnuts. All ages. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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