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The Space Child's Mother Goose [Paperback]

Frederick Winsor , Marian Parry
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 15.68
Price: CDN$ 14.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

May 1 2010
A witty collection of 1950s Space Age poetry for the scientific minded individual, accompanied by unusual black white line drawings.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review

...quirky, long out-of-print classic. Winsor's rhyming verses bring a wide variety of scientific theories, thought, and spirit to life. -- BookSense.com Daily Pick on July 24th, 2001

Books That Most Often Brought A Smile To Our Face: The Space Child's Mother Goose, ....just plain, quirky fun. -- Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Only a few years ago [1950s] we walked on solid earth. Today we whirl through space.
Space is big. It is not cozy.
Buth with these verses and drawings...
cheerfulness breaks in.
Suddenly, science seems merry.
And space begins, with the rhyme on page 1, to feel a little more like home. --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
By Jaqi
Format:Hardcover
This took my imagination in the strangest new directions. Then as I got older, and learned more math and science, as the Klein bottles and universal constants became real things, I was always amazed that these bizarre things were real and meant more or less what I'd gotten from context. I loved this book, and heartily recommend it to all the clever little ones that can use a head start on the awesomeness of reality. This is the stuff that makes sci-fi look unimaginative.
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Format:Hardcover
Rubber-band mathematics, telekenisis, Moebius strips and Klein bottles, multi-dimensional space-folds, a model of a scientific theory, postulates and relative time frames would not seem to be material suitable for children, but this slim book will quickly disabuse you of that idea. This book is a marvelous re-working of the old Mother Goose rhymes, updated to today's scientifically oriented world.
I first read this book just after it was published, when I was about eleven years old, and was immediately captivated. It made no difference that I didn't understand some of the terms being used. The thing that caught me was the skill with which these modern-day and science-fictional items were folded into those well known rhymes, how well they fit and gave new, quite twisted, and in many cases hysterically funny meaning to them. Reading them today, these verses are still just as funny, if not more so than I found them to be in my youth, as I now can catch the fact that Winsor buried many sly references to Greek literature, outmoded scientific theories, and even satire about academic politics within their brief lines. My favorite along this latter line is 'The Theory that Jack Built', which contains a fatal flaw, hidden by mummery, obfuscation, and bells and whistles, which all gets blown away when the Space Child presses the 'Go' button.
The illustrations are just as marvelous, and do much to help someone who might not completely understand the scientific terms to see just what is being referenced, while being very individualistic in style and maintaining the humorous tone of the whole book. Along with these visual aids, there are often 'definitions' at the bottom of the page, some even more abstruse than the item being defined, but just as funny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Nov. 3 2001
Format:Hardcover
This book was a big part of my childhood.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twisted, Charming, Educational, and Just Plain Fun Aug. 28 2003
By Patrick Shepherd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rubber-band mathematics, telekenisis, Moebius strips and Klein bottles, multi-dimensional space-folds, a model of a scientific theory, postulates and relative time frames would not seem to be material suitable for children, but this slim book will quickly disabuse you of that idea. This book is a marvelous re-working of the old Mother Goose rhymes, updated to today's scientifically oriented world.
I first read this book just after it was published, when I was about eleven years old, and was immediately captivated. It made no difference that I didn't understand some of the terms being used. The thing that caught me was the skill with which these modern-day and science-fictional items were folded into those well known rhymes, how well they fit and gave new, quite twisted, and in many cases hysterically funny meaning to them. Reading them today, these verses are still just as funny, if not more so than I found them to be in my youth, as I now can catch the fact that Winsor buried many sly references to Greek literature, outmoded scientific theories, and even satire about academic politics within their brief lines. My favorite along this latter line is `The Theory that Jack Built', which contains a fatal flaw, hidden by mummery, obfuscation, and bells and whistles, which all gets blown away when the Space Child presses the `Go' button.
The illustrations are just as marvelous, and do much to help someone who might not completely understand the scientific terms to see just what is being referenced, while being very individualistic in style and maintaining the humorous tone of the whole book. Along with these visual aids, there are often `definitions' at the bottom of the page, some even more abstruse than the item being defined, but just as funny.
Don't forget to read the `Answers' at the back of the book, which in addition to some appropriate real definitions, also provide some rather unique explanations of some of the terms used in this book, including one which takes a viscous dig at Congress.
Give this one to your son or daughter, but not till you've read it yourself. You might get a few questions, and there might be a few puzzled frowns, but I'd almost guarantee you'll also be the recipient of some laughs and smiles.
--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my first books, and still one of my favorites Dec 1 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was born in 1952. This is the second book I remember having owning, after Dr Suess. I can't place the year exactly, but it was in the 50s.

I still have that first copy. I still read it. I enjoy it just as much or more now than I did way back when dinasoars roamed the earth.

Books don't come any better than this.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My sister gave it to me many years ago Dec 15 1999
By christian engleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Probable-Possible, my black hen
She lays eggs in the relative when
She doesn't lay eggs in the positive now
Because she's unable to postulate how.
Several pages later:
Plusque-Posible ma poule noire
Elle ? ses oeufs dans le quand-provisoir
I could also try to remember the German by memory. But already I must admit to pretty poor french. The above English is pretty close to the original, I'm sure.
I think this the funniest trick in this very funny book. Schwarz-henn shows up also in great hieroglyphics, and in Greek with an off-base pedantic translation back into English.
It is a great disappointment that she is out of print. My copy was given me by my sister, the only person who could always pick for me what I wanted, when I was a Naval Officer living in pre Viet Nam Japan. I have just tried to purchase it for a 5 year old piano student who plays the works Mozart wrote at age 5 and who can solve linear equations for two unknowns.
Give it, if you can get it, to any progressive adult or child and you and he will be blessed!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank My Lucky Stars! Dec 9 2000
By David Dick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I stumbled accross this book in the library of a high-school (when I was in about grade 10 -- not so long ago). A few years after I graduated, I realized I was smitten by the charmingly antiquated poems and I knew that I had to get a copy. I found some copies for sale on the internet, ranging up to $500.00 US for a copy! I even called rare book shops, and the nose-in-the-air shopkeeps had the nerve to scoff. I eventually got my friend to get his sister to bribe the librarian to get it for me. Who's laughing now? It is a first printing, and it was bought by the high-school in 1963 for $3.00! I read it at least once a month. I can't believe how little popularity this book has gained, considering the prescience of the writing. Oh well. I love it, and I share it with others who appreciate it: "Divide command and court disaster / Pollux says, and so says Castor" If you ever see a copy, snatch it up. It's valuable as a collector's item, but priceless as a memento.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical Blend of Science Fiction and Nursery Rhyme Nov. 24 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My sister bought this book at a used book sale in Phoenix in the 70s, joined a cult, and left this book to me. She's never getting it back either! For those of you who love science fiction, science, poetry, languages and charming drawings, this is the book for you! I've shared it with my math and science fiction instructors at Arizona State, and they loved it. Where else would you get to read about the Little Black Hen in Greek and Swahili? The book expands one's imagination and obliterates any preconceptions that scientists are obtuse--in addition to knowing their specific sciences,these folks write poetry, draw, and are multilingual!
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