"Half for you and half for me / Between us two shall goodwill be." Here is a nursery rhyme book to entertain both adult and child as they read together. The classic rhymes are side by side with annotations about their backstories: Who was Wee Willie Winkie? Did live blackbirds really fly out of a pie? Was Humpty Dumpty a person—or a clumsy cannon?
When she was small, Katherine Govier tucked in close to her mother's side to listen to nursery rhymes. Later she read them to her own children, and now she has returned to reading them with her mother, who can no longer see well enough to read the pages of their nearly hundred-year-old Mother Goose book. Still, her mother can recite the words. What is the magic and what is the meaning of these rhymes that stay in our heads for a lifetime?
The answers are here. Some rhymes describe historical events and some are just plain nonsense. Some of the oldest rhymes were never intended for the nursery, but for the street—where they came to life as popular judgments on events of the day. In Half for You and Half for Me, the author breaks the codes of these nursery rhymes in accessible, amusing explanations. She also adds some classic Canadiana, including a poem by star children's poet Dennis Lee.
Commissioned illustrations make this book full of colour to draw in the eye. Charming vintage drawings also pepper the text, firmly rooting the rhymes in their historical context.
Half for You and Half for Me will engage, delight, entertain and inform younger and older readers alike, and aims to be that favourite title that is pulled off the family shelf again and again.