Includes several pages of reading-related puzzles.
Russell Punter was born in Bedfordshire, England. From an early age he enjoyed writing and illustrating his own stories. He later trained as a graphic designer at art college in West Sussex before entering publishing.
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe – Nursery Rhymes
Since then, he has written over fifty books for children, including original fiction in both picture book and young reader formats. With its erudite historical and literary analysis, the enterprise is, in part, an exercise in demystification; but the subject's essentially arcane nature is such that many mysteries remain tantalisingly unexplained. When, for example, children bounce their ball to the accompaniment of the words "One, two, three, alairy", they may be "repeating and enacting a Middle English term which was discarded by adults several centuries ago". But why should they be doing this?
The data which serve as starting point for the Opies' investigations come, in the main, from material collected in surveys conducted in the s and s, principally in Britain. Much of the fun and of the earthy richness of this lies in the linguistic diversity manifest in local and regional terms for the most basic objects and practices of play. Of the scores of possibilities for "marbles", who could resist such delights as "balsers", "bullockers", "doggles", "doll edgers", "dummocks", "stonnac-kerools", "stubbers" or "tonses"? Most marvellous of all are the rhymes and chants which, for centuries, have been shouted by children, particularly in their games with ball and skipping rope.
This idiosyncratic material, in which innocence and naughtiness combine in infinite variations, has claim to be the real children's literature, raw, surreal and subversive. These verses frequently prefigure adult experiences, anticipating these with a mixture which is half fear and half fascination. In an age of channel-zapping and Net-surfing, the nagging worry must be that the traditional pursuits recorded by the Opies have only a limited life-span.
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe -ENCHANTED LEARNING SOFTWARE
Their own view is that "children will always play where they are on their own, in the freedom of an open space". We must make sure that these opportunities continue to exist. Theater Shoes. Gary Blackwood.
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