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Mother Goose in Prose

Baum, Lyman Frank
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Parrish, Maxfield
Way & Williams, Chicago

A collection of stories in the best tradition of story tellers. A much often overlooked collection of stories that L. Frank Baum wrote that tells in a story how 22 of the Mother Goose nursery rhymes came to be. In actuality, A New Wonderland (The Magical Monarch of Mo) was written one year earlier but published after the Wizard of Oz. Baum like Lewis Carroll takes famous nursery rhymes and gives an explanation of these stories in a whimsical setting. Another fantastic addition is the artist, the noted American poster artist Maxfield Parrish! Baum's second book, and the first written for children. Twenty-two short stories explaining the reasons behind Mother Goose rhymes. How did those four-and-twenty blackbirds get into the pie? Why was Old King Cole such a merry old soul? Why did Mary Mary plant her garden in the first place? Who were Hickory, Dickory, and Dock? And why was Miss Muffet sitting on that tuffet? (This was also Maxfield Parrish's first illustrated book.)

In a copy of the book inscribed to his sister, Mary Louise, Baum writes: "When I was young I longed to write a great novel that should win me fame. Now that I am getting old my first book is written to amuse children. For, aside from my evident inability to do anything 'great,' I have learned to regard fame as a will-o-the-wisp which, when caught, is not worth the possession; but to please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one's heart and brings its own reward. I hope my book will succeed in that way - that the children will like it."

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