The Mother Goose on the Loose Blog

Here, There, and Everywhere


Mother Goose on the Loose has certainly been traveling here, there, and everywhere, and soon there will be a book (to be published by ALA Editions) describing the types of programs with information on how you can use MGOL as outreach to your local unserved populations.

This coming week, I will be presenting with  Anne Bakker from Early Head Start in Venango County, PA, at the Early Childhood Education Summit, about her use of MGOL during home visits and family time.

And, here is a cool blog post someone just sent me a link to, that describes another successful MGOL outreach program, entitled “Reading in Rehab.”

A Surprise Footnote Connection


Currently, at the request of ALA Editions, I am revising my Mother Goose on the Loose manual, originally published in 2006.

I wanted to add in information about connections with “the seven life essential skills every child needs” from Ellen Galinsky’s book, Mind in the Making. Ellen is the President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute (FWI)  so I went back to look at the Brain-Building Powerhouses report that was published by FWI, IMLS, and School Readiness Consulting in 2015.

The report describes each of the seven essential life skills and identifies current museum and library practices that help children build those skills. It was published just after I fell and had a concussion, so my husband read it aloud to me as I rested on the couch.  We were both taken by surprise when on page ten, he read out, “For preschoolers and their families, programs and resources are designed to build skills and knowledge children need to thrive and help them successfully transition to kindergarten. Nationally replicated research-based early literacy programs such as Every Child Ready to Read and Mother Goose on the Loose (MGOL) are designed specifically to provide parents and caregivers with knowledge and skills to support early language and literacy development for their children now and when they enter school. ”

This was followed by a box highlighting a successful brain-building practice, Mother Goose on the Loose!  That discovery generated great excitement and I have been very proud to have MGOL associated with Mind in the Making in such a public way.

Since I wanted to cite the Brain-Building Powerhouses report in my updated MGOL manual, I returned to the report and went to the last page to see if there was a preferred citation. Although there was not a recommended citation for the report, I began perusing through the footnotes. This resource intrigued me:

14 ACLA Youth Services Blog. (Accessed Online April 2015). Storytime Best Practices: Rethinking Themes in Preschool Storytimes. Best%20Practices

So, I clicked on the link and was in for another surprise! The link led to the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) Youth Services wiki, and although there is no author cited, the post was written by me. It describes the theory behind Transforming Preschool Storytimea book I co-wrote with Melanie A. Hetrick.

I am a huge fan of Mind in the Making, and am now extra proud that the report of brain-building powerhouses refers not only to Mother Goose on the Loose for infants,  babies, and toddlers, but uses Transforming Preschool Storytime as a reference.

Reading the research and translating it into practical programs and activities to help children be the best they can be is my passion. I am grateful that my work has been recognized and is being used by librarians and other adult educators who work with children.  Thank you, everyone!

(For a wonderful NAEYC guide to accompany your reading of Mind in the Making, click here.)

MGOL in Hospitals (a taste from the ALSC Institute in Atlanta)


While at the ASLC Institute in Atlanta, I attended a wonderful session by librarian Amanda Bressler entitled “Healthy Partnerships: Creating an Early Literacy Outreach Partnership for Hospitalized Children.” The description read:

Scrub in and pull on your rubber gloves; it’s time to operate…an early literacy partnership with your local hospital’s children’s unit! Based on an outreach partnership between the Boston Public Library and Boston Children’s Hospital since 2014, this program will provide an overview of hospital departments to partner with, special considerations for providing library services to severely ill children and their families, and other strategies to set up your early literacy partnership for success.

Amanda’s presentation was full of valuable information, and we were half way through when I realized I should be videotaping it. With her permission, I pulled out my cell phone and began filming.  To view the second half of the presentation, click below:


One of the really cool things is that Amanda used MGOL as the basis for her program, although she adapted it to fit the needs of her audience and surroundings.  She gives tips relating to book selection, products to use, how to set up such a program (who to talk with), etc.

If you are interested in presenting ANY type of early literacy program in the hospital or clinic setting, her presentation (even just the second half!) has lots of valuable information.

The Goslings are Growing


Here’s a video about the Mother Goose on the Loose Goslings program:


On October 21,  I will be presenting on “Early Literacy Programming for Families with Fragile Babies” with partners from Port Discovery, the University of Maryland Medical Center, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County at the 2015 Conference on Inclusion and Diversity in Library & Information Science (CIDLIS).

If you want to hear more about the Goslings program, feel free to join us there!

Mother Goose on the Loose Goslings


A few months ago, I posted about the idea of creating a Mother Goose on the Loose program for parents with premature babies, hospitalized in NICU units.  I am proud to announce that with the assistance of Port Discovery Children’s Museum (and a big shout-out to Summer Rosswog), of PNC bank, and of the University of Maryland Medical Center (with a shout-out to Brenda Hussey-Gardner), I have created the Mother Goose on the Loose Goslings program.

Goslings is a combination of MGOL nursery rhyme activities adapted for the medical needs and fragile conditions of premature babies, along with a large parent education component.

We have piloted four programs and have already had great feedback.  (We were getting the positive comments after just one week — a family told us that when they used to come into the NICU, they would immediately wake up their baby so they could play together, but now they knew that it was important to let him sleep.)

Each family that attends our program leaves with a kit of items that they can use to play with their baby.  One of the items in the kit is an “Indestructible Book”, since it can be easily wiped, washed, and disinfected.  This book is great for ALL young children, not just preemies!

I gave Wiggle, March, an Indestructible book, to my friend Jen, after the birth of her son. She recently sent me a video of him “using” the book. It is so wonderful, I am including the video below!