The Power of Story, as Demonstrated by Mother Goose

The Power of Story, as Demonstrated by Mother Goose

Blog post by Ellen
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Story is powerful. If you are reading this right now, you are a library user and you comprehend the importance of stories in your life and the lives of future generations. I was raised in a home that was lined wall to wall with books. I still own the 1927 linen version of Mother Goose Rhymes, which my mother read to me as a child. The art is stunning and may have contributed to my decision to become a visual artist.

So long ago that no one really remembers when or how, Mother Goose flew into our lives. She brought with her a world of imagination - songs, melodies, jingles, tongue twisters, skip rope jumping games and stories so dear to our hearts that it seems they've always been with us. Mother Goose rhymes are from many sources, passed down in folklore fashion; some teaching counting numbers and others sending strong moral messages. The single most important promoter of Mother Goose was John Newbery, whose name is identified with the highest award given to an American children's book, the Newbery Medal.

Literature Live! believes a good story requires four elements: who are you, what do you want, what is the problem, and what is the solution. Using an economy of words and often wonderful illustration, Mother Goose provides the answers to these four basic, but important ingredients in each of her famous and beloved rhymes and stories.

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean.
And so between them both, you see,
They licked the platter clean.


Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can’t tell where to find them:
Leave them alone and they’ll come home,
And bring their tails behind them.

On September 15, Literature Live! will begin performing Mother Goose on the Loose at all library locations. Watch the trailer featuring some of our favorites with shadow puppets. The Austin Public Library has plenty of recommendations to explore the rich world of story, brought to you by Mother Goose.