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nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?

11 Jul 99 - 07:41 PM (#94219)
Subject: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Joe Offer

Jeri posted a quip in another thread, and I responded with a nursery rhyme: :
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to be with his stockings on,
One shoe off and one shoe on,
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.
That made me think a bit. You know, I know lots of nursery rhymes and songs, and I've loved them all my life. It bothers me that I didn't teach them to my kids. I read them stories and sang 60's folk and rock 'n' roll songs, but I didn't teach them the classics and I feel guilty about it. Maybe that's why they became punk rockers.
How about the rest of you? What did you teach your children, and what do they cherish most of it?
-Joe Offer-

11 Jul 99 - 10:34 PM (#94240)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: katlaughing

My kids were raised on Kipling, Dickens, Stevenson, and everything there was in the old Childcraft books, from the 40's. They loved those so muhc, that I found extra sets in used book stores and bought them each a set. They had a lot of the classics in them, from narrative poems like Hiawatha to stories from other lands to tales such as the Lad who went to the North wind to the little nursery rhymes like the one you quoted, Joe.

We had a lot of classics when I was growing up and that is what I had around for my kids, but I suspect one of the books my son will say he got the most out of was a copy, which just conveniently ended up in his bedroom, of Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask!

Lots of poetry. I have my greatgrandma's Home Book of Poetry from Christmas of 1885. It has some grand old, long poems in it which I would read to them once in awhile auch as Bingen on the Rhine, Napoleon & the Soldier and a few others.

We had mysteries, too, esp A. Conan Doyle & A. Christie, as well as the classic ghost stories of M.R. James, and others.

Books rule in our house, so the kids were exposed to just about anything and everything and my son still asks me to send him books I am done with as he devours several a weeek. My girls are almost as avid, except that with one year old twins, Kyrsten has her hands full and doesn't always find the time like she used to.

I guess you can tell by now, you've hit upon one of my favourite subjects nad I love to read. My dad once told there isn't any human situation that a person can't understand and perhaps solve by reading Kipling, Scott, and a couple of others, esp. Quentin Durward by Scott.

Thansk for asking, Joe!

11 Jul 99 - 10:46 PM (#94244)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: John Hindsill


As a wee child in the early 1940s I used to be read from (and read) the Childcraft books. This series had volumes of nursery rhymes, myths, legends, poems and stories. I delighted in them. When my son was born I bought a complete, used 1941 edition for him. I read to him, and as he learned to read he read them [gee, sounds like deja vu]. It didn't help! As he grew older his literature became fantasy books and computer games like Zork.

He has graduated university and is long out on his own, but he could not recite a nursery rhyme or a kids' poem if his life depended on it. Just as with folk music, kids' lit. changes; so don't do any mea culpas.---John

11 Jul 99 - 10:49 PM (#94246)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: WyoWoman

One of my favorite memories is this:

When my son was in the first grade, his elementary school had a "talent night." Austin pondered and pondered what to do for his performance, then he had it! He came in with a copy of this wonderful little book I had got him, "Big Poems for Little People," and pointed out "Charge of the Light Brigade."

Perfect. So I, harking back to my Reader's Theatre training, got him a black folder he could hold while he read, and we worked and worked on his interpretive reading of this poem.

Talent night came and we went to his school. Half the kids were standing up lipsynching to Kiss songs, the other half were doing these nursery rhymes that would have been appropriate if they'd all been 3.

My son felt like an idiot -- here he was with just this silly poem and the other kids were all duded up in their Kiss gear. But he bravely went up on stage, stood with his legs firmly planted, wide apart like Rocky Balboa at the top of the steps, and he began to read.

A hush fell over the room and all the little twerps actually started to listen. He gave a rousing interpretation of the poem and at the end was that silence every performer just dies for. Then the crowd went wild.

He got some sort of little trophy for being the best, the teachers loved him (I swear to God, it was the first time some of THEM had ever heard a poem read aloud) and the kids actually thought he was pretty cool.

(And then, he became a punk rocker. But, hey, he had the background anyway. I had read to him and his sister, sung to them. When we took road trips to drive them to their father's every summer, we used to listen to Mozart, Vivaldi, etc., along with their choices of music, and play "Name that Tune." I don't think it matters so much what they get into in their adolescence and early 20s, unless it's dangerous or deadly. It's what they come back to later on, particularly when they have kids of their own. I mean, wasn't it that way with you, too?)

I do think one of the saddest things about education right now is that no one has to memorize poems. Not only do you get the discipline of making your mind remember something more than what channel MTV is on, but you also have these friends, these poems, to carry with you for a lifetime.


12 Jul 99 - 12:01 AM (#94268)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Pelrad

I'm still in the beginning stages of parenthood; my son will be one year old next month. But he is being raised with the stories and songs and poems that my husband and I hold dear from our own childhoods. We started a collection of children's books before he was even a twinkle in our eyes, and he hears all the music we like. Currently, he dances to Solas and Juluka (Irish and South African bands), chills out to Jeff Warner and Jeff Davis and Bill Harley. I was surrounded by non-top-40 music as I grew up, and my children will be too.

I admit, my parents did not teach me many of the "classics" either, but I learned many of them through early mainstream education. What my parents gave me, which I'm sure Joe also gave to his kids, was a knowledge of and interest in things outside the mainstream, and enquiring minds. Wait and see what happens when they have kids of their own. You may be surprised; you may discover them singing 1960s labor party songs over the cradle.

12 Jul 99 - 03:03 AM (#94299)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Llanfair

This is really interesting.My boys were brought up on AA Milne, "When we were very young" and "Now we are six" I always regret that, as a single mum early on, I didn't have the energy to read to them at night, using story tapes instead. Neither of them can spell, and both have problems passing English exams. However, they were exposed to music from an early age, as well as science fiction, so both are musicians in their spare time, with the ability to keep their minds open to new ideas and thoughts. Both are also able to paint and draw to a high standard. Do they know their nursery rhymes? yes, Am I so proud of them I could burst? yes. are they happy, confident young men? Yes. SERIOUSLY proud mum Bron.

12 Jul 99 - 02:37 PM (#94451)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: CarlZen

It is so nice to hear all that is being shared with children. I teach fourth grade and I am amazed when, as a situation arises in the classroom I let a nursery rhyme roll off my tongue, or refer to a fairy tale that has never been released as a Disney film, and the children get a blank look on their faces. Tall Tales to most of these kids are things read in books, but at least they have become familiar with them.

The reading of great stories and sharing rhymes, tales, and family stories, family history, recollections of days-gone-by, all are the stuff that prepare our children to be literate human beings. A child's ability to deal with language depends so much on their everyday experiences with language. In our high tech media age it is too easy to allow these important things to get left by the wayside.

As to my own kids, I remember lots of nursery rhymes, stories old and new (there is a wealth of new children's literature available now of very good quality), and singing LULLABYES to them. I haven't had a chance to ask them what their recollections are, but to me singing lullabyes at bed time are some of the sweetest memories.

Maybe a ndew thread could be lullabyes - or maybe there's already one in existence?

12 Jul 99 - 03:32 PM (#94466)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Dan

Bookwise, it was the Green Forest series (Blacky the Crow, Bobby the Coon, etc.) Treasure Island, and Watership Down; poetry-wise, Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses; movie-wise, the Muppet movies; and song-wise, The Battle of New Orleans, Purple People Eater, (sung with tremulous voice and wide eyes) and Oh Susanna. (Joined into joyfully, on the chorus, by my baby, Susanna)

12 Jul 99 - 04:00 PM (#94472)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

YES! Nursery rhymes, Winnie the Pooh (the REAL one, not the Disneyfication!) Wind in the Willows (ditto) lullabyes (several threads on 'em) ballads, goofy camp songs, later the Little House Books, the Hoobbit and its ilk, now he's into Douglas Adams and she's discovered Redwall, (I'm probably the only parent around who doesn't like that series!). He's also composign music on the computer (latest opus is entitled, "Don't pick a fight with a synthespian") and she's memorizing such folk songs as Griselda and Lovely Agnes. Those nursery rhymes must have had something to do with it!
CarlZen, as an elementary music teacher I've learned to counter that sorry trend by emphasizing nursery rhymes in grades K-2- set to music, they're easy to improvise and sing! Our school is pretty good at laying the basics, so I'm supported in this. But it's sad that we have to do it!
All the best- Allison

12 Jul 99 - 04:01 PM (#94473)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Vixen


What a great idea for a thread! My parents read to me, sang to me, and recited all sorts of stuff from memory for me...My dad wrote songs and short stories for me. Part of all this, I'm sure, is because I came from a "traditional" family, with mom at home and dad at work; part is also that I was an only child, so there was no competition for my parents' attention. I was also the oldest grandchild on both sides of the family for a couple of years, so I got the grandparents' attention too.

I think as a result of all this attention, I learned to read outrageously early, and read everything and anything. I like most all kinds of music, though sometimes I have to stretch to find something worthwhile in some of the popular stuff. I don't know how today's middle class American families can hope to give their kids what my folks gave me. I haven't got any kids (yet? who knows?). But I "Auntie"-up for several of my friends, and I keep a collection of my favorite children's lit around the house: Kipling's Just So Stories, Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, all of Milne, the P.L. Travers books, some of the Green books, and collections of kid poems; Shel Silverstein, Dr. Seuss, etc. So I read to them, and send 'em emails, and sing silly songs for them when they come to visit. The kids think I'm cool, and the parents think I'm harmless. I hope so.

The book I had and loved and lost when my parents' house burned was "My American Heritage" a thick tome of poems and sayings and songs. I still look for it in used book stores and flea markets. Does anybody remember it?

Thanks for making me think of all this!!!


12 Jul 99 - 04:05 PM (#94475)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Jack (who is called Jack)

He's seven years old and I read and teach him anything he'll let me get away with.

I read him the Hobbit when he was four. I showed it too him at a used bookstore, and he asked me to read it too him. I figured he'd get bored after a few pages, what with no pictures and all, but he made me read it every night at bedtime, and hung on every word up to just about the end. I only lost him after the climax, during Bilbo's return trip. but other than that he was riveted.

We read children's poems by Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstien, Doroty Aldiss, A.A. Milne et al.

Dr Seuss.

Nursery Rhymes.

Kipling, esp Just So stories (Them that takes cakes that the Parsee Man bakes makes dreadful mistakes, and there was a lot more to that than you might think....).

Folk tales

Old songs, funny songs, camp songs, even drinking songs (OK we learned them together listening to the Dubliners and Clancy brothers tapes with me in the car, but Finnegans Wake is still one of his favorite songs, and you should have seen the other parents at the playground the day he spontaneously burst out singing "I'm a rambler I'm a gambler, I'm a long way from home, and if you don't like me then leave me alone. I'll eat when I'm hungry I'll drink when I'm dry. If the moonshine don't kill me I'll live till I die." Jaws dropped I'll tell you.).

12 Jul 99 - 04:23 PM (#94483)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Joe Offer

Vixen, take a look at (click), and I think you'll find "My American Heritage" - cheap.
-Joe Offer-

13 Jul 99 - 08:45 AM (#94704)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: MMario

I don't have any of my own, but been baby sitting 34 years and helped raise 13 nieces and nephews - Oz books, Thornton Burgess (DAN! Was it the TWB Green Forest series?) because they were all set in my home town; The Hobbit, science fiction (whatever I was reading at the time - kid in one arm, book in the other and reading aloud) especially the "Pern" books. Music every night. Nursery rhymes and counting rhymes and silly songs. Stories passed down from my father - (He used to make them up for us) One nephew had a coverlet with dragons embroidered all over it. His bedtime story every night was made up on the spot by his father about whichever dragon my nephew chose.


13 Jul 99 - 11:22 PM (#94958)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?

OH, the Childcraft series! There were six of us, the books were barely together when I left home. I wanted them so for my own girls, but when they were young, I was mighty poor and even the used bookstore's offering was too high.

I read to them each night. We had and still have a big book of nursery rhymes. We also read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Honey Bunch and even the Bobbsey Twins. My children too, grew into punk rockers whose greatest dream is to go on Van's Warped Tour.

I did start singing to them early on - sitting in the darkened bedroom, strumming my baritone uke and remembering folk and playparty songs.

"Teach your children well..."


14 Jul 99 - 12:09 AM (#94966)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: katlaughing

Nancy: which story was your fav in the Childcraft books? I felt lucky to have found used sets when my kids were young enough to enjoy them, and of course, they'd heard them at Grandma's house. Now, I am making a recording of some of them for my year old grandsons and have sent a set to their parents.

I'll never forget how disappointed I was when we bought a modern set in the 70's. It wasn't at all like the old ones and I gave it away, the whole set, except for one volume on dogs.

Some of my favourites included "The Lad Who Went to the North Wind"; Nannette & (the Castle?, a story from Holland); the poem, the Wraggle Taggle Gypsies O!; the Owl & the Pussycat; The Giant Joe Bean; my brother does a wickedly good rendition fo the Town Musicians of Bremen; and we had lullabies as well. My oldest daughter's favourite poem was her grandma reading her the Sugar Plum Tree.


14 Jul 99 - 12:10 AM (#94967)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: katlaughing

Nancy, me, again. I would be happy to copy some of the stories, etc. if you'd, like, just let me know.

14 Jul 99 - 12:12 AM (#94968)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: WyoWoman

CarlZen, yes, there was a very nice thread not too long ago about lullabyes -- plenty of suggestions for some lovely ones.

One of my most poignant memories of my dad was when he took us off to bed at night. He's hoist me up on his shoulders and walk me off down the hall saying, "Then go, not as the quarry slave, scourged to his dungeon, but as one who wraps his draperies about him and lies down to pleasant dreams..." or "Good night, sweet Princess. Flocks of angels sing thee to thy sleep..." (Ok, it was really supposed to be "flights," of course, and he knew that. But the image of "Flocks of angels" lingers forever in my brain.)

He was an oilfield worker, and from his crude oil stained khakis, people probably expected him to be rough and ignorant. But most of the poems I learned in my childhood, I learned from him. And I write for a living now, partly because of his rigor about the English language, and his whimsical fun with it. He worked long, hard hours, but many, many a night I remember him sitting on the edge of my sister's and my bed, reading anything that rhymed.

(And then when we were teens, writing this message in soap on our mirror when he was in his Ogden Nash period: "Some people's minds must be infinitesimally liddle, Who will squeeze the toofpaste toobs in the middle. And then there's some silly saps, Who never, ever replace the caps ...."


14 Jul 99 - 03:00 AM (#94994)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: KingBrilliant

My daughter spent a lot of time with my mother from the age of 6 months when I went back to work. Both Mum & I used to recite her the traditional nursery rhymes all the time. When she went to nursery at the age of 2 and a half she was not used to other kids and tended to gravitate to the helpers - who could amuse themselves for hours trying to find one single nursery rhyme that they knew and she didn't. As far as I know they never found one. The lasting legacy of all this is that she has a good feel for language & the rhythms of speech & songs, and picks up songs very easily. It was definitely time well spent. I think that the teaching of nursery rhymes is probably self-perpetuating to some extent, for those who were taught them by their own parents it is a chance to indulge in a bit of nostalgia and to recreate the memories of a cosy and loving time in their own childhood.

14 Jul 99 - 11:56 AM (#95101)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Margo

I had childcraft when I was a kid and I dearly loved them. At age 24 I went to a friend's house and found that she had the childcraft set for her kids. I was amazed that when I opened one of the books and my eyes fell on thoses familiar illustrations I had the most incredible rush of nostalgia. I physically felt warm and fuzzy all over. Amazing, huh?

I am jealous of all of you reading to your kids. Mine haven't been to the point where reading would provide any pleasure. Their autism prevents it. But one day. Their development is just delayed, so they'll eventually get there. (Hah! Can you see me reading nursery rhymes to a 10 year old?)


14 Jul 99 - 12:07 PM (#95106)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: katlaughing

Yes, Margarita, do it! I still read them to my kids, long distance, once in a great while and they are 22, 25, & 29! Of course, they probably are just indulging the "old girl", ya know?**BG**

WW: my dad was in the oilfields, too and I did gain just as much literary education from him as mom. You may have read before in another thread that he and his dad, a Colorado rancher, used to talk back & forth only in poetry while working. His capacity to memorise still just amazes me.

Joe, thanks for startingthis thread. It's really wonderful.


14 Jul 99 - 04:16 PM (#95174)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Margo

Kat, do you mean talking back and forth reciting lines, or just rhyming while talking? We like to do the rhyme thing here at home.


14 Jul 99 - 04:58 PM (#95183)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Joe Offer

I had my 23-yr-old daughter read this thread when she came over to cook me dinner. I had been feeling bad about all the stuff I should have shared with my kids, but she reminded me of all the good stuff I did share with them.

But what I want to know is this: Before I left for Denver, I had an almost-new copy of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Day, with two sequels included. Now I can't find it. Who took it? It's one of my favorites, along with the Homer Price and Winnie-the-Pooh stories, Where the Wild Things Are, and Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now? I suppose most of these aren't the traditional classics, but they're the ones I've had the most fun with.

Oh, one other thing: My ex-wife always wanted a copy of a book she had as a kid, called Mister Bear Squash You All Flat. I've never seen the book myself, but there were some copies offered on Bookfinder for $150 a while back. I was wondering if somebody might have a copy of this book and might be willing to transcribe the text for me. I'd love to see it myself, and I'd like to give my ex a copy.

-Joe Offer-

14 Jul 99 - 06:58 PM (#95221)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: LEJ

When I was a kid, one of my favorite books was My Father's Dragon, and I used to love the pictures and maps in it. When my daughter was about 4, I was browsing the discount table of a mall bookstore when I stumble across the old book, like finding an old friend. I took it home to my daughter, wondering if it would hold any of the magic for her that it had had for me. Well, it became one of her favorites. She even took it to school, and the teacher ended up reading it aloud to the class.

I used to sing her to sleep at night with Puff the Magic Dragon, in fact we recorded it on cassette so my wife could play it for her when I was traveling. She also learned to sing "Maria" from Westside story with me, as well as "NeverNever Land", "Side by Side", and "Oh, Danny Boy", which we changed to "Oh, Erin girl". Although she prefers the songs of Alanis Morissette and Cher to my singing nowadays, we still sing an occasional duet when there's no one else around.

As far as stories, most were made up by me on the spot, including The Blob Parts 1 through 12, loosely based on the old horror movie, but often integrating other elements. My favorite was when the Blob took over a leading political candidate and became Blob Dole.

But the old standards of grade school music seem to have gone by the boards- she heard me sing "Sweet Betsy from Pike" the other day and thought it was hilarious. Her music teacher did teach the class "Old Dan Tucker" which she and a friend performed for me.


14 Jul 99 - 11:47 PM (#95306)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: WyoWoman

Hey, Joe, I want you to be MY ex! What a guy! '-}

What I'm wondering, since this thread has evoked such warm feelings, is, is there some way to do for other kids what we did for ours, and what some of our parents did for us? Maybe volunteering for story hour at the library (I've often thought of this, given how I miss doing my very dramatic interpretation of "Cat in the Hat" in all the voices), or reading to elementary students while their teachers take a break.



15 Jul 99 - 09:05 AM (#95428)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Vixen

In response to WyoWoman, when VicTim plays a library or school gig, we give the kids "fake sheets" (a term the kids find delightful!) with the words--most of these tunes are public domain/traditional. Then we try to get the kids singing along on EVERYTHING...Our kid shows are totally participatory. We make sure we only play in keys they can sing, because kid voices are A LOT higher than adult voices. Unfortunately, the teachers and librarians end up with a rather wild bunch after we're done...I think we're going to start ending these gigs with a couple of low-energy songs, and see if we can mellow 'em out a bit. But we kind of get caught up in the energy ourselves...and when a 10 year old tells me I'm cool, WOW, do I feel cool!


19 Oct 07 - 08:24 PM (#2174927)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: katlaughing

Refresh, can't imagine why this didn't get more postings way back when...:-)

20 Oct 07 - 10:10 AM (#2175270)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Willa

Thanks for the refresh, Kat - a lovely thread!

20 Oct 07 - 12:55 PM (#2175360)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Mrrzy

We also (gotta love technology) had those books that you could press a button and it would play the song. I always sang the extra verses that I know...

20 Oct 07 - 05:28 PM (#2175504)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: paula t

Our girls were raised on a wide range of reading material. Beatrix Potter was a huge favourite - Sarah knew "The Tale Of Jeremy Fisher" off by heart! "Thomas The Tank engine" was another big favourite.
As for songs, the old nursery rhymes and songs were always sung. We also had a piano with the lid wired open for them, an old guitar on the floor for them to pick up (and drop!) whenever they liked. We also made our own instruments from junk and would then sing and play together. Our house was - and still is - absolute bedlam!The girls play with us nowadays and we have great fun as a family band.Make the most of every moment and make music with your children - there's nothing quite so joyful!

20 Oct 07 - 05:49 PM (#2175518)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Ebbie

It's been fun reading this thread- it came about before I landed on the Cat so I hadn't seen it before.

I read everything to my daughter starting while she was a babe in arms. Later I haunted used book stores to find the books I had grown up with (I have a strong feeling that Art Thieme's bookstore in Depoe Bay, Oregon was one of them. Wouldn't it be cool to discover that I had met Art L O N G before the Cat? This would have been about 1965-68)

I found many of the old books there and my daughter still has them. Books like 'Black Beauty', 'Call of the Wild', 'Robinson Crusoe', "Beautiful Joe', 'Treasure Island', dozens more. As I read them to her, I marveled at how well some of them had stood the test of time and how dated some others were. :)

As my daughter grew older we passed books back and forth; she learned a good many things about the birds and the bees that way- and I was able to keep tabs on what she knew and how she learned them. *G*

Whenever we were in the car we sang: school songs, gospel songs, Garter Family songs, old songs I had learned from my mom and dad, songs I had learned from my brother's records back in the 40s. One time when she was maybe 10, I let her sing a song alone and just listened. When she skidded to a stop, she burst out, Well! Aren't you going to listen?

One thing I didn't teach her was the language I had grown up with, a dialect of German. When she took her first foreign language in high school my preference was that she take Spanish because Oregon has a great many Spanish speakers. But she took German. (For years afterward every letter from her contained at least one paragraph in German.)

She did take Spanish later.

20 Oct 07 - 08:02 PM (#2175589)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Fred Maslan

Funny thing, Just yesterday Raffi my son was wearing a "T" shirt with James Thurber cartoons on it, and I asked him (he is 22) if his friends knew who James Thurber was. He said mostly not, but that he was turning them on to his stories and cartoons. We reminisced about my reading him and his brother "The Thirteen Clocks" and "The Story of 'O'" and "The Red Deer". We have several very dog-eared copies of nursery rhymes and disintegrating copies of Oz books. The TV was banished for a good portion of their childhood so they are both voracious readers. They completely devoured a set of Shakespears plays. I remember one occasion when Raffi came home from school in tears because the librarian wouldn't let him take out a book that was beyond his grade level! Needless to say she heard from me.

20 Oct 07 - 08:27 PM (#2175600)
Subject: RE: Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Ebbie

A wayward finger typed Garter.

21 Oct 07 - 06:17 PM (#2176062)
Subject: RE: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Fred Maslan

whoops! that should have been "the White Dear" in my post above.

21 Oct 07 - 06:18 PM (#2176065)
Subject: RE: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Fred Maslan

That is "the White Deer"

16 May 11 - 06:22 AM (#3154950)
Subject: RE: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?

   Does anybody know if "The Lad Who Went to the North Wind" in an old Child Craft book was copyrighted or just an old tale in the public domain?

16 May 11 - 06:35 AM (#3154956)
Subject: RE: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: GUEST,Eliza (guest)

"Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his TROUSERS on" is the version I heard as a child. (Just after the War)
Nursery rhymes were everywhere when I was small. 'Listen with Mother' on the radio, parents and grandparents, Infants' School, countless Nursery Rhyme books (Mother Goose, Kate Greenaway etc.) Children were expected to know the lot and to recite them when required. Most rhymes had a special tune to sing it to, and quite a few had actions or even a dance to do as well. (For example, Incy Wincy Spider, and Ring-a-Ring-O-Roses) My wooden cot had a transfer of Little Boy Blue in colour at the head, and Baa Baa Black Sheep at the foot. Even my little pink reins had a Mary Mary Quite Contrary picture on the front of the harness.

16 May 11 - 06:38 AM (#3154959)
Subject: RE: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?

I don't have kids...but I remember as a kid in the 80's/90's I always liked nursery rhymes I had 3 tapes of them which I played over and over till they broke. As an adult when first getting into folk music (2008) and learning to play by ear an instrument I started with nursery rhymes (even found they'd released my fave nursery rhyme tape on CD and bought it.)
I also listened to the the Beatles and Madness a lot as a child (my mum's record collection stopped at about the time I was born and being poor didn't have money to go buying music) a teenager it was definately pop (Spice girls, sclub7, Steps etc.) then emocore (evenessence, AFI etc.) and now I like folk.

16 May 11 - 06:40 AM (#3154962)
Subject: RE: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?

I also had/still have a book of nursery rhymes I love as its got all weird extra verses I've not seen elsewhere.

16 May 11 - 07:25 AM (#3154995)
Subject: RE: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: Mo the caller

My two and third year old grandson (those few months are important and have seen some big changes) loves rhyming stories. He recites 'Going on a Bear Hunt' as we explore the winding paths in our garden. The favourite book at the moment is 'What the Ladybird Heard', he can recite big chunks of it.

It's such fun watching him learning language and playing with words.

16 May 11 - 08:32 AM (#3155036)
Subject: RE: nursery rhymes-Did You Teach 'Em To Your Kids?
From: GUEST,leeneia

When my nephew and nieces were little, I selected poems from the Children's Library and set them to music. They loved them.

Here's an example:

If you catch a firefly and keep it in jar,
You will find that you have lost
a tiny star.

If you let go them to sail into the night,
you will see it once again -
star bright.