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The Inner City Mother Goose
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The Inner City Mother Goose

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  67 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Poems inspired by traditional nursery rhymes depict the grim reality of inner city life, including such topics as crime, drug abuse, unemployment, and inadequate housing.
Hardcover, 70 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (first published May 1st 1969)
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Simon Goetz
Aug 08, 2010 Simon Goetz rated it it was amazing
My father read these dark and depressing nursery rhymes to me when I was a small child. It fucked me sideways and twisted me hopeless. I'm am eternally grateful. I'll always consider Eve Merriam my godmother, whether she wants me or not.
Feb 05, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: eced-221
“The Inner City Mother Goose” is a set of poems that are adapted from traditional nursery rhymes to depict the realities of inner-city life. For example, there are poems called “Sing a Song of Subways” (inspired by “Sing a Song of Sixpence”) and “Twelve Rooftops Leaping” (based on “The Twelve Days of Christmas). The book consists of 65 short poems accompanied by a variety of photographs.

One of the most striking things about the poems was the sharp contrast between the childish, simple rhyme stru
Caitlin Schwatka
Feb 27, 2012 Caitlin Schwatka rated it really liked it
Shelves: eced-221
This was definitely an enlightening read for me. It brings up many of our society's dysfunctional attributes, such as violence, racism, poverty, abuse, etc. What is sad, I realized, is that I wouldn't be comfortable reading this to 8 year olds, even though the reason this was written is because this is every day life for hundreds of 8 year olds, even in the United States.
Sounds: like the original Mother Goose, all these poems are written with a distinct rhythm, almost like a song. They are all
Nov 19, 2012 Callie added it
Grade/interest level: Middle/High school (grades 6-12)
Reading level: 5.5+
Genre: Poetry

Main Characters: Various
Setting: Various
POV: Various

This is a collection of 65 poems that are parodies of original nursery rhymes. The versions presented in this book focus on urban issues such as crime, violence, inadequate housing, unemployment and drug abuse, among many others. The poems are powerful on their own, but even more so when paired with the illustrations.

The illustrations are bright, eye
Emily Crow
I read this short book of Mother-Goose inspired rhymes while browsing at a used book store today--it is almost compulsively readable, and didn't take long at all to finish. The themes are violence, drugs, welfare lines, and urban poverty, and the "nursery rhyme" format was surprisingly convincing. The book was published in 1969, but still seems relevant today, which is kind of depressing. I didn't buy it because it didn't seem like the sort of thing I'd want to read more than once, but now I kin ...more
Feb 17, 2012 HeavyReader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: critics of American society
Shelves: poetry
I had forgotten about this book until today when I was looking for another Mother Goose book and this one came up. I think I picked up a copy of this at a Friends of the Library book sale and donated it to the Solidarity library. I have no idea where it is now.

I liked this book a lot. The writing is smart and funny and edgy.
Debbie Hoskins
Dec 04, 2011 Debbie Hoskins rated it really liked it
Although not traditionally what we consider a graphic novel, I think it is an excellent example of using words and pictures to express mature topics. David Diaz's bold illustrations in acrylic are a perfect union with the thought-provoking verses.
Jun 09, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
More than 40 years old, and so little has changed. Beautifully done, but sad. The introduction to the 1996 edition by Nikki Giovanni is sublime.
Laura Siegel
Jan 03, 2012 Laura Siegel rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I know an English teacher who got fired for giving this book to a student back in the '70s. A pretty enlightening look at reality in the inner city.
Doraine Bennett
Doraine Bennett rated it it was amazing
Oct 31, 2015
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Mar 06, 2010
Marie Summers
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Oct 28, 2010
May 07, 2007 Dennis rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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One of the stand outs for me is, Take- A- Tour, Take- A- Tour, Congressman.
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Feb 24, 2011 Liz rated it did not like it
2/24/11 1.5 a little too grim and abruptly grewsome for me.
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