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Charles Addams' Mother Goose [Paperback]

Charles Addams
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1978

"Girls and boys,

Come out to play,

The moon does shine

As bright as day.

Come with a hoop,

Come with a call,

Come with a good will,

Or not at all."


"Addams, master New Yorker cartoonist and black-humor prankster par excellence, has thrown tradition to the winds and taken matters into his own bedeviled hands, transforming those endearing Mother Goose characters into gleefully wicked and outrageous beings -- from the farmer's wife, seen sullenly cutting off the tails of those three blind mice with an electric knife, to Little Miss Muffet, scared half out of her mind by the size and leering grotesqueness of that big spider who sat down beside her.

"That clammy Addams touch never fails to hit its mark. In his macabre, funny way, he has given Mother Goose a dimension even she would shudder at -- but only for a moment, because the wit and candor of it all are too irresistible and insanely comic to take exception to. Addams's style and originality make his tampering with tradition completely and hilariously acceptable."

-- Chicago Tribune

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Description

From Amazon

New Yorker cartoonist (and creator of the altogether ooky Addams Family characters) Charles Addams tampers with tradition to great effect in The Charles Addams Mother Goose, first published in 1967, and now reissued as a deluxe edition. While Ms. Goose's original nursery rhymes remain unchanged, Addams casts his spell on a selected few poems with new visual twists. A less wholesome, more anemic Mistress Mary has never been seen, and her bare-lightbulb-lit basement garden of mushrooms and heads of "pretty maids all in a row" is quite unsettling. Jack Sprat and his wife are, of course, cannibals. Nine-day-old porridge is disgusting... so naturally a witch is the porridge preparer, and goblins are the only ones who would like it "nine days old." Humpty Dumpty's story, on the other hand, feels a little cheerier than the original: rather than leaving the egg irreparably broken, the illustrator shows a dinosaur hatching! Tee Addams, Charles Addams's wife, writes an insightful introduction for this lovely, oversized edition, and the book closes with a scrapbook of family photos and pictures of Addams's earlier work. Kids familiar with Mother Goose's rhymes will be delighted (and perhaps only slightly terrified) by Addams's playful interpretations. (All ages) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the Addams Family creator and New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams are sure to savor the deliciously twisted take on nursery rhymes in The Charles Addams Mother Goose. First issued in 1967, the work trumps tradition, spicing up the original verse with offbeat illustrations. For "Rain, Rain, go away,/ Come again another day" Addams imagines a flood of apocalyptic proportions taking over Manhattan, leaving a small family adrift on a rooftop and the Statue of Liberty submerged. A scrapbook contains vintage cover art and family photos. All ages.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Found! Dec 23 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I was so pleased to find a re-print of this, the Mother Goose of my childhood. Yep, my parents gave me this Charles Addams -- and I've never been quite right since.
The hours I spent poring over pictures of the cadaverous Wee Willie Winkie, the Frankenstein-esque Dr. Fell, and little Wednesday Addams skipping rope alone, under a single streetlight . . . all these wonderful frissons were restored to me with this re-issue. Mother Goose wears Chuck Taylors!
If you love Gorey, Burton, and Lynch, you'll love the "Charles Addams Mother Goose."
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy Fun for Kids of All Ages Nov. 17 2003
Format:Hardcover
Addams' wit, even more than his illustrations, makes this book a five-star classic. It isn't hard to imagine a macabre picture accompanying "Three Blind Mice," but Addams goes further than the typical fare by including Grant Wood's "American Gothic" couple (as the farmer and his wife) and giving Mrs. Farmer an electric carving knife to de-tail the mice. Casting a mobster and beatnik as the "rat" and "cat" in the "House that Jack Built" poem is another master stroke. ...and just what have Mr. Sprat and his wife eaten?
My favorite illustration accompanies "Fishy, fishy in the brook/Daddy catch him on a hook...." Could anyone but Addams create a "Daddy" with a Capt. Hook-style prosthetic at the end of his arm? Classic. ("Little Miss Muffet" runs a close second to this poem and illustration.)
The "scrapbook" is a nice addition at the end of the book, but it doesn't quite live up to the blurb on the front of the dust jacket.
The only drawback to the book is that when the picture spans two pages so much of the illustration gets sucked into the binding. This most noticably detracts from poems like "The Old Woman Who Lived Under a Hill" and "St. Dunstan," where the heart of the illustration takes place in the center of the image.
All in all, a great book; even the minor detractions serve to make you want more of Addams delightfully twisted artwork.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghoulishly delightful vision for grownups Jan. 3 2003
Format:Hardcover
This book contains only a couple dozen of the best rhymes. No illustration is smaller than a single page, and many cover two. The paper cover's artwork is also printed directly on the hard board binding, so the paper cover can be torn or discarded with no real loss. It is about 9"x11" in size. I read this last night and repeatedly laughed out loud at the bizarre and darkly humorous renditions of my childhood favorites. Characters from his signature "Addams Family" cartoons can be identified in some. One of my favorite drawings accompanies wee-willie-winkie. Compare Addams vision of a demented and ghoulish peeping-tom to the sweet night-watchman of Richardson in the Volland edition. I seriously question whether or not this material is even appropriate for children age 4-8 (as suggested above). However, it seems to me eminently suitable for adults with a love of Mother Goose or Charles Addams, or both.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful spoof on the original Mother Goose Oct. 12 2002
Format:Hardcover
This gorgeous rediscovered treasure is a wonderful spoof on the original Mother Goose, lending a macabre feel to the classic warm rhymes. Black and white illustrations as well as color drawings provide quite a different interpretation of the rhymes ï¿ youngsters with some maturity familiar with the old favorites will find this a treasure ï¿ as will their parents.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy Fun for Kids of All Ages Nov. 17 2003
By C. T. Mikesell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Addams' wit, even more than his illustrations, makes this book a five-star classic. It isn't hard to imagine a macabre picture accompanying "Three Blind Mice," but Addams goes further than the typical fare by including Grant Wood's "American Gothic" couple (as the farmer and his wife) and giving Mrs. Farmer an electric carving knife to de-tail the mice. Casting a mobster and beatnik as the "rat" and "cat" in the "House that Jack Built" poem is another master stroke. ...and just what have Mr. Sprat and his wife eaten?
My favorite illustration accompanies "Fishy, fishy in the brook/Daddy catch him on a hook...." Could anyone but Addams create a "Daddy" with a Capt. Hook-style prosthetic at the end of his arm? Classic. ("Little Miss Muffet" runs a close second to this poem and illustration.)
The "scrapbook" is a nice addition at the end of the book, but it doesn't quite live up to the blurb on the front of the dust jacket.
The only drawback to the book is that when the picture spans two pages so much of the illustration gets sucked into the binding. This most noticably detracts from poems like "The Old Woman Who Lived Under a Hill" and "St. Dunstan," where the heart of the illustration takes place in the center of the image.
All in all, a great book; even the minor detractions serve to make you want more of Addams delightfully twisted artwork.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the young-at-heart ! Dec 11 1998
By Natalie Mintz (anmintz@galaxy-7.net) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I highly recommend this book for those of us who enjoy children's stories. Although it may be a bit too dark for children, it is perfect for "old" kids who have a twisted sense of humor!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghoulishly delightful vision for grownups Jan. 3 2003
By Peter B. Nelson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book contains only a couple dozen of the best rhymes. No illustration is smaller than a single page, and many cover two. The paper cover's artwork is also printed directly on the hard board binding, so the paper cover can be torn or discarded with no real loss. It is about 9"x11" in size. I read this last night and repeatedly laughed out loud at the bizarre and darkly humorous renditions of my childhood favorites. Characters from his signature "Addams Family" cartoons can be identified in some. One of my favorite drawings accompanies wee-willie-winkie. Compare Addams vision of a demented and ghoulish peeping-tom to the sweet night-watchman of Richardson in the Volland edition. I seriously question whether or not this material is even appropriate for children age 4-8 (as suggested above). However, it seems to me eminently suitable for adults with a love of Mother Goose or Charles Addams, or both.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood Found! Dec 23 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was so pleased to find a re-print of this, the Mother Goose of my childhood. Yep, my parents gave me this Charles Addams -- and I've never been quite right since.
The hours I spent poring over pictures of the cadaverous Wee Willie Winkie, the Frankenstein-esque Dr. Fell, and little Wednesday Addams skipping rope alone, under a single streetlight . . . all these wonderful frissons were restored to me with this re-issue. Mother Goose wears Chuck Taylors!
If you love Gorey, Burton, and Lynch, you'll love the "Charles Addams Mother Goose."
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An off beat book for off beat children and those who love them Sept. 8 2006
By Mitsue - Published on Amazon.com
This is a great book. It's a nice mix of the ones we remember as children and a few more we wouldn't readily remember.

This is for the child who has a healthy appreciation for the art of Edward Gorey and the humor for Monty Python and love Lon Chaney. Trust me, there are these children out there, they really are under the age of 8 and they are very hard to buy books for.

What's really wonderful, for the adults who are finding their lives now revolve around reading stories to small children who remain illiterate, this book offers a lovely change from the norm. Honest to god, If I have to read one more Pretty pony story I am going to hunt that pony down....

I recommend it for children of all ages, even if you dont' have your own, it's just so worth having.
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