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Old Mother Hubbard    by Alice Provensen & Martin Provensen order for
Old Mother Hubbard
by Alice Provensen
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 1992 (1977)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

There are a variety of different renditions, including take-offs, of the whimsical Old Mother Hubbard poem. I especially enjoyed this one, which can still be purchased second-hand. The colorful and detailed illustrations bring the verses to vigorous life, and of course kids like to understand all the archaic as well as familiar places (baker, joiner, hosier) that Mother Hubbard visits in her quest to please her canine companion (I also had to explain 'tripe' to my sons, who definitely did not want to try any).

Mother Hubbard certainly goes to great lengths to spoil her quirky dog. I especially enjoyed her visit to the manic-looking cobbler 'to buy him some shoes, but when she came back ... he was reading the news' and the goofy hatter. This versatile dog also plays a flute, rides a goat, feeds the cat, and dances a jig. Kids appreciate his antics, the rhymes and the silliness of the whole sequence, which bears regular re-reading. 'The dame made a curtsey. The dog made a bow. The dame said, Your servant. The dog said BOW-WOW.'

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