Authors Olde Mother Goose
Olde Mother Goose (1729 Translation)

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Robert Sambers originally translated these famouse rhymes from the French stories of Charles Perrault. The term is said to have originated from the nickname of Bertha, mother of Charle-magne; she was a well-known storyteller with a large gooselike foot. The firm of John Newberry published the first compilation of fifty-one rhymes with accompanying illustrations in the late 1700's and the title was "Mother Goose Medley or Sonnets For The Cradle."

I've always heard that the background for these was based on historical or social situations from Charlemagne's day. Unfortunately, much of their political meaning has been lost. In 1833, an expanded version was published in the United States. The extra jingles were taken from an old English book, "Gammer Gurton's Garland." Still today, many of the rhymes found in these books were not included in the original versions.

Linguists tell us that early exposure to the repetition and pronunciation of poetry, such as Mother Goose, will actually improve a child's reading and speaking abilities, so go ahead and have some fun and help your kids out.


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