Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Pocketful of posies : a treasury of nursery rhymes
Pocketful of posies : a treasury of nursery rhymes
Other title(s):
Treasury of nursery rhymes

Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010.
Physical Description:
62 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
An illustrated collection of sixty-four traditional nursery rhymes.

"Peek inside and discover a treasure trove of nursery rhymes stunningly illustrated. Each rhyme has been lovingly stitched with rich fabric and colorful threads and exquisitely ornamented with everyday objects such as acorns, buttons, beads, driftwood, stones, and shells. In Sally Mavor's unique collection of classic verse, every gorgeous page is a true work of art."--Jacket.
Reading Level:
Added Author:


Call Number
J 398.8 MAVOR 2010
J 398.8 Pocket

On Order



This hand-picked collection of classic nursery rhymes, all delicately and painstakingly illustrated by Salley Mavor, who is reknown for her incredibly detailed fabric and cloth scenes.

It took Mavor ten years to develop her own fabric relief technique to a level where she felt comfortable even considering illustrating a book. Now, Mavor embroiders and sews illustrations, each scene taking nearly a month to complete. In this book, Mavor renders a new and visionary nursery rhyme world with precision and intricacy for many a generation to treasure for years and years to come.

Author Notes

"Working in 3 dimensions was an exciting way to communicate my ideas," writes Salley Mavor. "I never thought that the assemblages and experiments I presented for critique would ever turn into a workable illustration technique." Salley Mavor is an award-winning children's book illustrator and the owner of Wee Folk Studio. She lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Visit her website at www.weefolkstudio.com .

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-The epitome of warm and fuzzy, this collection is illustrated with embroidered fabric pictures that have been embellished with small objects like buttons, bells, shells, and bits of driftwood. Some of the items, like Mary's little white lambs, are crocheted, and many of the people appear to have heads made of smooth, round dowels. Old verses like "Elsie Marley" and "Simple Simon" are given a new freshness with this interpretation. With no white space, and familiar text laid out simply, the pictures definitely take center stage. Young children love visual detail and this book will engage and delight. The characters don't look very expressive, but the soft colors and graceful lines are attractive and appealing. An unusual and charming addition to nursery-rhyme shelves.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Rarely have classic childhood verses been depicted with so much care and detail-and fabric. Loosely organizing the rhymes over the course of the day, starting with morning themes and closing with bedtime rhymes, Mavor creates a miniature world using wool felt, various stitching techniques, and found materials like acorn caps and seashells. Tiny ducks follow Jack and Jill's journey up and down the hill, while the rocking cradle in "Hush-a-bye, baby" is a walnut shell. Mavor's intricate and colorfully embroidered work of art makes even the best-known childhood poems feel special and new again. Up to age 3. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Slow down and enjoy these sixty-four (mostly) familiar nursery rhymes set in an intricate tapestry of wool, felt, embroidery, beads, and every kind of needlework. The human characters are constructed from cloth, with wooden beads or needle-felted balls for heads, which are then decked out in wool or perfect little acorn caps, ratcheting the wow factor up dramatically. "Jerry Hall, he is so small, / A rat could eat him, / Hat and all" is illustrated with hand-dyed felt, nearly hiding a sneaking, smiling rat behind hand-stitched leaves. With the constructions attentive to even the smallest details of the rhymes, the book is organized loosely from morning to night, opening with "The cock crows in the morn" and "Elsie Marley" and closing with "Twinkle twinkle little star" and "Wee Willie Winkie." Occasionally, double-page spreads house multiple verses, notably a stunning rain scene that incorporates "Rain, rain, go away" and two other nursery rhymes; "Jack and Jill" and "Mary had a little lamb" merit their own spreads. The deftly photographed needlework looks three-dimensional because the textures of the various media create shadows and encourage the eye to linger on every hand-sewn detail. When teachers bemoan the lack of knowledge of nursery tales in their young students, press this special volume into their hands, but get one for home, too: every family deserves a fine collection of nursery rhymes, and this is one of the best. robin l. smith (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Mavor has chosen 64 rhymes that combine the familiar (Peter Piper and his peppers, Mary and her lamb, Old Mother Hubbard), the not so familiar ("I eat my peas with honey" and Wee Willie Winkie) and the truly obscure ("Go to bed first, / a golden purse; / Go to bed second, / a golden pheasant; / Go to bed third, / a golden bird"). Beyond the variety, however, the art makes this collection shine. Describing the illustrations as "hand-sewn fabric relief collages" (as the copyright page has it) really does not do them justice. On every page, embroidery, knotwork and beautifully dyed wool felt form backgrounds for the dozens of individual figures and buttons, beads, driftwood and stones. The design is sumptuous, and the smaller details enchant: Hush-a-Bye Baby's cradle is a walnut shell; "Deedle, deedle, dumpling, my son John" sleeps in the attic loft of Jack Sprat and his wife; Elsie Marley, who "lies in bed till eight or nine," is tucked up under her lace coverlet, reading. A fine choice. (author's note) (Picture book/nursery rhymes. 3-6)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

This is indeed a treasury as the title proclaims. Well-known and less-familiar nursery rhymes and songs appear, including Baa, Baa Black Sheep, Simple Simon, and This Little Piggie among the better known. All have been intricately illustrated through a variety of thread and cloth art crochet, macramé, needlework, cloth figures, and embroidery. Bells, beads, twigs, seeds, shells, and other easily identified items have also been sewn into scenery and figures, inviting closer scrutiny. The illustrations are closely tied to the verses, but the rhymes and songs take a backseat to the pictures. Young children won't understand the incredible effort put into the art, and the muted colors and somewhat static images may lessen the appeal for little ones. But older, craft-enthusiastic children (and adults) will be enchanted.--Perkins, Linda Copyright 2010 Booklist