A tisket, a tasket, and nursery rhymes reconsidered

A tisket, a tasket,

A green and yellow basket.

I wrote a letter to my love,

And on the way I dropped it.

I dropped it, I dropped it,

And, on the way I dropped it.

A little boy picked it up,

And put it in his pocket.

(traditional nursery rhyme)

a tisket a tasket, watercolour and ink journal entry

(“A tisket, a tasket”.  Watercolour and ink sketch.)

A quick whimsical painting was in order on a very rainy day recently.

Someone asked me not long ago, what comes first?  The painting or the quotation that you see above each painting on my blog posts?

Usually, the painting is first as was the case with this watercolour and ink sketch.

I was testing my new art supplies –  liquid watercolours –  and had absolutely no idea what I was going to paint with them.

The mailboxes came first, then the potted plant, next the basket and the girl, and finally, the watering can and the tree in the background.

Once I was finished, then I started to look for the story to accompany the painting.  Sometimes the story builds as I paint.  Not this time.

After some thought, I remembered the nursery rhyme my mother sang to me when I was young.  As it happened, there WAS a green and yellow basket.  I had filled the basket with kittens and so what?  The rhyme did not specify what was in the basket.

And as my luck would have it, the girl was holding mail in her hand which made sense since she was so close to the mailboxes.  So again, the nursery rhyme suited the sketch.

Are nursery rhymes still recited or sung to children today?

I admit that some poems deserve to be edited or updated because they are offensive.  As an example, my original intention was to title this watercolour, Eenie, Meenie, Miney, (the kittens) and Mo (the duck). And then I remembered the rest of the nursery rhyme…

But nursery rhymes involve silly words which children love (a tisket, a tasket), repetition of words, (London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down..) and children learn how language works through these poems.  They imitate the adults’ gestures as they sing these songs and so learn to coordinate movements to words.  There are so many positive reasons to keep this oral tradition and pass it along to future generations.

I know that the teacher in me is voicing these opinions.

However, you can’t deny that the cute factor is bumped up many times when toddlers innocently sing these songs alone or in a group.

Long before someone studied the educational value of nursery rhymes, mothers and fathers must have felt the same thrill we feel today in hearing youngsters repeating these poems and songs so expertly and so sweetly.

What nursery rhymes do you remember from your childhood?  Which ones did you sing to your children?

Nursery rhyme inspired characters

Oh, dear, what can the matter be? / Johnny's so long at the fair. / He promised he'd buy me a bunch of blue ribbons, / He promised he'd buy me a bunch of blue ribbons, / He promised he'd buy me a bunch of blue ribbons, / To tie up my bonny brown hair. (Old nursery rhyme)

nursery rhyme inspired papier mache character

Poor Johnny.

He was sent to the fair to buy blue ribbons, not realizing that he would be going to the mother of all fairs, the yearly London Grand Ribbon show, where exhibitors, in row upon row and as far as the eye can see, display their collections of lustrous ribbons for sale.

Johnny was told to buy blue ribbons...poor guy...there are so many blues! He is completely flummoxed, yes, flummoxed!

Which does Priscilla want? Is it sky blue or turquoise or sea blue or ultramarine? And then there is royal blue, and azure, and baby blue....or how about indigo, or midnight blue? Add to that the sapphire blues, the lapis lazuli, the aquamarine and moonstone blues. So many blues that he is truly perplexed!

And then does she want a satin ribbon, or is it velvet? Was it a thin or a thick ribbon? So many decisions that Johnny is befuddled and speechless when the vendors approach him with their offerings.

Why didn't Priscilla send him to buy an awl, or a socket set, or ratcheting wrenches. THAT he could have handled!

papier mache character based on a nursery rhyme