Mother Goose in Prose {Free eBook}

Every child will be familiar with the nursery rhymes of Mother Goose — for many, their first introduction to poetry. When your children get a little older, they may enjoy Mother Goose in Prose by L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz series.

In Mother Goose in Prose, Baum tells the story behind the rhymes.

Many of these nursery rhymes are complete tales in themselves, telling their story tersely but completely; there are others which are but bare suggestions, leaving the imagination to weave in the details of the story. Perhaps therein may lie part of their charm, but however that may be I have thought the children might like the stories told at greater length, that they may dwell the longer upon their favorite heroes and heroines.

For that reason I have written this book.

Of course, the stories are completely a figment of Baum’s imagination and likely have no relationship whatever with the foundation upon which the original rhymes were based.

Be that as it may, through Baum’s lens we learn:

  • Who Little Boy Blue was, and what was with that horn.
  • How it was that Black Sheep’s wool made three bags full.
  • Why Mary’s contrariness made her garden grow — or not.
  • What led to Jack Horner sitting in a corner eating his Christmas pie.
  • Why the mice — Hickory, Dickory, and Dock — ran down that clock so fast.
  • How Tom, Tom the Piper’s son fared having stolen that pig.
  • Why Little Bo Beep, knowing every sheep by name, could leave them alone and they would come home.
  • And many more.

You’ll also find a writing challenge to young readers. What type of story would they have written about the rhyme?

In making the stories I have followed mainly the suggestions of the rhymes, and my hope is that the little ones will like them, and not find that they interfere with the fanciful creations of their own imaginations.

Mother Goose in Prose will be enjoyed by young and old — and it’s free!

Free eBook
  • Copy each rhyme into your writing notebook.
  • Illustrate the rhyme.
  • For one or two of the verses, create a different story explaining the rhyme.
  • Find a Mother Goose nursery rhyme not included in the book (see resources below) and create your own story to fit the rhyme.
  • Older students can create a written narration explaining the history of Mother Goose given in the Introduction.
  • Create an author page for L. Frank Baum and add him to your author notebook.

Additional Resources
The Real Mother Goose {Free eBook}

The Real Mother Goose {Free eBook}
Published in 1916, contains over two hundred of the nursery rhymes that many of us grew up with.

Mother Goose Illust. by Kate Greenaway {Free eBook}
Some may find this a more inviting choice, especially for younger children.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
For copying and illustrating the stories/rhymes.

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}

Author Notebooking Pages {Free Download}
For creating an author page for L. Frank Baum.

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