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Mother Hubbard, Her Picture Book, Containing Mother Hubbard, The Three Bears, & The Absurd A, B, C.   By: (1845-1915)

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"Mother Hubbard, Her Picture Book, Containing Mother Hubbard, The Three Bears, & The Absurd A, B, C." by Walter Crane is a captivating and visually stunning collection of classic nursery rhymes. With its charming illustrations and delightful storytelling, this book brings together three beloved nursery rhymes that have been treasured by children for generations.

Walter Crane's artistic prowess shines through in every page of this picture book. His use of vibrant colors, intricate details, and expressive characters bring these familiar tales to life in a captivating manner. From the whimsical depiction of Mother Hubbard’s chaotic household to the endearing adventures of the Three Bears, Crane's illustrations are truly a feast for the eyes.

One of the highlights of this book is the inclusion of "The Absurd A, B, C," a clever and playful addition that teaches children the alphabet in a unique and entertaining way. Rather than presenting the letters in a traditional manner, Crane pairs each letter with a word and a corresponding illustration, allowing young readers to associate the letters with familiar images. This engaging approach makes learning the alphabet an enjoyable experience for children.

In addition to the beautiful illustrations, the rhythmic and melodic writing style of the nursery rhymes makes them an absolute joy to read aloud. Crane captures the essence of traditional nursery rhymes, combining simplicity and musicality to create verses that are both memorable and enchanting. This book is sure to captivate the attention of young readers and keep them engaged from cover to cover.

However, it is worth noting that some parents may find the inclusion of "The Absurd A, B, C" a departure from the expected traditional nursery rhymes found in the rest of the book. While this addition adds an educational element, it may not appeal to those seeking a purely classic nursery rhyme experience.

Overall, "Mother Hubbard, Her Picture Book, Containing Mother Hubbard, The Three Bears, & The Absurd A, B, C." is a delightful and visually stunning collection of nursery rhymes. Walter Crane's unique illustrations, combined with his engaging storytelling, make this book a timeless treasure for both children and adults alike. Whether read as bedtime stories or used as a learning tool, this book is a wonderful addition to any child's library.

First Page:

Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive/American Libraries. See



Walter Crane's Picture Books Vol. II.


Her neck did she CRANE, As she looked up the LANE To see the Three Bears pass by. They all went in, oddly, At the head of the Bodley An A.B.C. for to buy.


She went rather nearer To get a good look, And when she came back He had run through her book!




With the Original Coloured Pictures, an Illustrated Preface & Odds & End Papers, never before printed.



John Lane. The Bodley Head. London & New York.



MOTHER HUBBARD, as we all know, had a cupboard which she found bare on one occasion.

Well, this is Mother Hubbard's Picture Book, and it's rather bearish, too, for there are no less than THREE BEARS therein.

But you must not suppose that the book is altogether bear, because there are other things in it.

There's Apple pie, for instance to my certain knowledge, and "victuals and drink" of sorts, as well but I must not let the cat out of the bag (or the cupboard) all at once besides Mother Hubbard's clever dog is still feeding it, for his day (in spite of muzzles) is not over yet, and he is up to all his old tricks... Continue reading book >>

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