poetry friday…featuring Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes

As April is National Poetry Month, I’m highlighting a book each week, rather than only a poem,  in the hopes that you will find some new sources of poetry treasures to feast on.

pocketful of posies illustration detail salley mavorI’m dusty Bill
from Vinegar Hill
Never had a bath
and never will.


Diddlety, diddlety, dumpty,
the cat ran up the plum tree;
Half a crown
to fetch her down,
diddlety, diddlety, dumpty.

pocketful of posies cover imageThese are two lesser-known ditties among the sixty-plus nursery rhymes in Salley Mavor’s Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. The rhymes in this collection are as old as ever, and just listen to the waltzing and fox-trotting of those delicious words! Very young children really pocketful of posies illustration detail3 salley mavormiss out if not introduced to the delights of rhythm and wordplay through our age-old rhymes. Preschoolers feel deeply the happiness that comes from knowing-by-heart and reciting these tiny poems.

And…wow! Salley Mavor has lavishly illustrated this collection with absolutely jaw-dropping textile art. Oh my dear goodness!!! Every page is like a new enchanting world. All of the pieces are hand stitched using naturally-dyed wool felt. The colors of fabric and thread are exquisite; the variety of stitches creating patterns and tendrils and vines, strewing flowers upon tiny pinafores and rising in nubbly wool on a lamb…un-be-liev-a-ble! pocketful of posies illustration detail2 salley mavorEach little doll is hand crafted with little wooden heads, floss hair, heartachingly-charming clothing, some wearing acorn caps or dainty bonnets. There are sheep and cows, babies and buggies, cobblers and pie-makers — all three-dimensional. Tucked into the scenes as well are tiny treasures Mavor has collected — a teensy seashell, glinting beads, driftwood roofs, a bit of wood for a fishing pole.

pocketful of posies illustration detail4 salley mavorI am gobsmacked, pure and simple! Every scene is a gift of beauty and creativity for us to pore over and marvel over. What a feast for the imagination! Thank you Salley, for the years of time and dedication to your art form that you poured into this. 

You can see more of this amazing artist’s work at her website here.

And read a 2010 interview (that’s when this book was published), plus see beautiful details of her work at Seven Impossible Things.

I’ve just begun participating in Poetry Friday Round-Up which is a collection of poetry-saturated blog posts by children’s literature bloggers, pulled together each Friday. Their creativity is truly amazing. If you want ideas for poetry in your homes or classrooms, be sure to check out this week’s round-up here.


And another blog-friend of mine, always bursting with fresh, creative posts on children’s lit and yummy food, is working on a round-up for the whole month of April. That link is here.

And here’s the Amazon link for the book: Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes