Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson. Apr. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823447138.
PreS-Gr 1–From a Mother Goose nursery rhyme that originated in the 1700s and was slightly modified in the 1900s comes the version here. A small bespectacled brown child with black double ponytails is reading a book of rhymes at bedtime when a large goose wearing a yellow T-shirt beckons from outside. Mother Goose calls the girls and boys to come out to play and they eagerly oblige, leaving their suppers and bedclothes, just as the nursery rhyme says. The children follow Mother Goose “up the ladder and down the wall” to a field where they discover the nursery rhyme characters spied in the end papers. Together the children and characters, who are brown, pink, white, and Black, and wear costumes or pajamas depending on their roles, act out the rest of the lines in the rhyme as they gather the ingredients, make a pudding, and sleepily head back home: “Good night. Sweet dreams.” Pearson’s pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations easily convey the exuberance of her characters be they human or animal. Her dynamic scenes are full of details that keep the story zipping along with the text.
VERDICT With all this action bracketed by the characters in the end papers, along with their own rhymes, this clever book will delight all readers.

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