Today is Leap Day. I thought I would share The Leap Year poem from Mother Goose, as well as several other of the rhymes in this classic collection of poems dating back to the 17th century.
The name originated around the 17th century. In 1650, La Muse Historique by Jean Loret was published. The papers contained the phrase “like a Mother Goose story.”.
Nearly fifty years later, Charles Perrault published a book in French called Histories and Tales from Long Ago, with Morals” (Histoires ou Contes du Temps passé), subtitled Tales of Mother Goose (Les Contes de ma Mère l’Oye). This book is a collection of eight fairy tales including “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella.”
Finally, In 1729, Charles Perrault book was translated into English and influenced John Newbery’s publication of “Mother Goose’s Melody: or Sonnets for the Cradle” in 1765. Newbery is considered the author who popularized the name “Mother Goose” and “Mother Goose rhymes”.
The Real Mother Goose illustrated by Blanche Fisher Wright (with over 160 lively and colorful illustrations) was originally published in 1916! For over a hundred years, it has delighted children and continues to be a classic children’s book that should be in every child’s library.
I remember reading Mother Goose rhymes as a child from a Childcraft encyclopedia set we had on our living room shelf. My favorite volume was “Stories and poems” and included many Mother Goose rhymes.
When our first child was born, one of the gifts we received was a copy of The Real Mother Goose. Our first born, Brian, loved to have us read the rhymes in this book, even as a baby. One of his favorite videos that he wanted to watch as a preschooler (over and over again) was Barney and Mother Goose where Mother Goose appears and shares rhymes with Barney and his friends. He would then get out the Mother Goose book and ask me to read the rhymes to him (again and again).
Here are a few of my favorites, including the Leap Day rhyme, for you to share with your child today:
Thirty Days Hath September
Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting February alone,
And that has twenty-eight days clear
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day;
Little Johnny wants to play
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
Buckle my shoe;
Open the door;
Pick up sticks;
Lay them straight:
A big, fat hen;
Dig and delve;
Maids in the kitchen;
My plate’s empty.
So I do, master,
As fast as I can.
Pat it, and prick it,
And mark it with T,
Put it in the oven
To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done.
LITTLE BOY BLUE
Little Boy Blue, come, blow your horn!
The sheep’s in the meadow, the cow’s in the corn.
Where’s the little boy that looks after the sheep?
Under the haystack, fast asleep!
This little pig went to market;
This little pig stayed at home;
This little pig had roast beef;
This little pig had none;
This little pig said, “Wee, wee!
I can’t find my way home.”
Happy leap year day!
Do you have a favorite Mother Goose rhyme?
**Note: I have collected quite a few copies of The Real Mother Goose. If you are a family living overseas and have small children, add a copy of this classic collection of rhymes to your next order!