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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

Read an interview with the author now!

Named an “outstanding resource” in a starred review by Library Journal, Mother Goose on the Loose (MGOL) incorporates books, rhymes, fingerplays, flannelboards, music, dance, and child-parent interaction into dynamic programs that bring whole families into the library. Her research-based approach to helping young children learn has made Diamant-Cohen’s book a bestseller, and now she’s revised and updated it to include additional research, information, and tips. Filled with ready-to-use plans and activities that build motor, music, social, emotional, and pre-literacy skills in infants and toddlers, this resource includes

  • planning sheets for implementing the program;
  • guidance on designing new MGOL sessions, plus five MGOL programs with complete scripts and instructions, easily adaptable as needed;
  • ways to adapt MGOL for different cultures and languages and to address social justice concerns;
  • suggestions for incorporating digital media such as tablets;
  • tips for communicating with parents, library administrators, and stakeholders;
  • research findings on the learning process for infants and toddlers, including the importance of repetition, ritual, play, reading, movement, and music; and
  • links to additional online resources such as music, sample participant surveys, and promotional tools.

Librarians, educators, and caregivers across the country have already found MGOL easy to learn and easy to present, and so will you!

Learn more about research supporting all aspects of MGOL.

Preface: A Brief History of Mother Goose on the Loose

Part I    Learning All about Mother Goose on the Loose

  • Chapter 1    Early Literacy, School Readiness, and Mother Goose on the Loose
  • Chapter 2    Essential Components for an Early Literacy Program
  • Chapter 3    Mother Goose on the Loose Basics
  • Chapter 4    The Extra Element: Developmental Tips
  • Chapter 5    The Versatile Mother Goose on the Loose

Part II    Planning Your Mother Goose on the Loose Programs

  • Chapter 6    Planning Your Program
  • Chapter 7    Selecting Books, Rhymes, Songs, and Felt Pieces
  • Chapter 8    Scheduling and Promoting Your Program
  • Chapter 9    Before and After Your Program
  • Chapter 10    Evaluating Your Program

Part III    Five Ready-to-Present Mother Goose on the Loose Programs

  • Program 1
  • Program 2
  • Program 3
  • Program 4
  • Program 5

Part IV    Mother Goose on the Loose Resources

  • Resource A    The Mother Goose on the Loose Songbook and Rhyme Book
  • Resource B    Some Mother Goose on the Loose Felt Piece Patterns
  • Resource C    Suggested Supplies and Ordering Information
  • Resource D    About Barbara Cass-Beggs, by Michael Cass-Beggs

Subject Index
Title Index

Betsy Diamant-Cohen

Betsy Diamant-Cohen believes that the best way to learn is through play. She created and developed the nationally-replicated "Mother Goose on the Loose" (named a "National Early Literacy Best Practice" in 2015) program, for which she was awarded the 2018 Alexandre Vattermare Award for Creativity in Libraries. Betsy enjoys presenting training workshops, webinars, and online courses for librarians. Member of the ALSC Early Childhood Services and Programs Committee, her website is and Twitter handle is @MGOtL.

”Along with the five complete programs, Diamant-Cohen gives comprehensive, clear, and concise program planning instructions, replete with templates, rhymes, tips, and the formula of 80% repetition to 20% new materials, with the books read and developmental tips changing from week to week. This format incorporates the Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) ideal of talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing, and focuses on school readiness and developing the 'whole' child. Librarians who are fresh out of library school and librarians who are looking to change up their early literacy programs will find a plethora of useful information in this updated guide."
— School Library Connection

"This edition includes some updated language, offers websites and ways to promote programs using digital media, and discusses the advantages and limitations of apps. The author also covers cultural differences, gender and racial stereotypes, children with special needs, and day care groups ... The high level of detail distinguishes this work from other programming guides."
— School Library Journal

"A magnificent tool for librarians and educators who work with infants and toddlers ... This book is going to be most useful for children’s librarians at public libraries, but I will also be sharing it with early childhood education faculty and students at my college."
— Against the Grain