Discrepancies in Mother Goose

Denslow's Mother Goose

This rhyme appears in none of the other Mother Goose books that exist in the Sandel Collection.

Mother Goose and Mother Goose Victory House

A version of Wee Willie Winkie.

Mother Goose: A Little Golden Book

A shorter version of Wee Willie Winkie found.

Denslow's Mother Goose

The 1901 version of Old King Cole from Denslow's Mother Goose.

Mother Goose and Mother Goose Victory House

A version of Old King Cole similar to the Denslow Mother Goose.

Mother Goose: A Little Golden Book

A shortened version of Old King Cole.

The Glorious Mother Goose

A similar Old King Cole to the 1957 version of Old King Cole found in Mother Goose: A Little Golden Book.

Due to the many versions of Mother Goose, there is a question to which Mother Goose poems are considered to be Mother Goose or just popular rhymes. Do certain poems become Mother Goose poems because of their lasting popularity during a time period? There are a variety of Mother Goose poems within the Sandel collection that show changes to certain poems. For example, Mother Goose and Mother Goose Victory House versus Mother Goose: A Little Golden Book show different versions of the poem, “Wee Willie Winkie” with the latter having a shorter version than the former. Another example of where this occurs is with the poem “Old King Cole.” Denslow’s Mother Goose and Mother Goose and Mother Goose Victory House have a longer version of the poem versus The Glorious Mother Goose and Mother Goose: A Little Golden Book.  Length cuts to a poem is an important editing observation because any changes in length to a poem can mean a different interpretation in the reading and understanding of a poem by its younger audience.

However, due to the long history of Mother Goose and the spread of its popularity over the course of a few centuries may allow for these changes to occur. The Glorious Mother Goose and Mother Goose: A Little Golden Book come later in time than Denslow’s Mother Goose and Mother Goose and Mother Goose Victory House. Perhaps as time continued, Mother Goose poems got shorter in length or have certain words changed because most poems are told and passed on orally rather than in recent years of being read aloud. Perhaps due to geographical space and the passing of time allows for such alteration to Mother Goose poems even creating new poems that are considered Mother Goose poems such as “Great A, little a” found in Denslow’s Mother Goose or even more so with Ray Woods The American Mother Goose.