Perfect Picture Book – A Pocketful of Posies

Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes

Salley Mavor, Illustrator

Houghton Mifflin Books for Children,  September 2010, Fiction

Suitable for: Preschool (Ages 3 and up)

Topics:  Nursery rhymes, Children’s poetry

Opening and SynopsisThe cock crows in the morn/To tell us to rise/And he who lies late/Will never be wise/For early to bed/And early to rise/Is the way to be healthy/ And wealthy and wise.  Salley Mavor has taken 64 of her favorite nursery rhymes from childhood, and compiled this beautiful treasure.  Among the favorites rhymes featured are: “Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe,” “Humpty Dumpty,” Hickory, dickory dock,”  “Little Miss Muffett,”   “Mary had a little lamb,” “One, two, buckle my shoe,” “Old Mother Hubbard,” “Peter Piper,”  “Ring around the roses,” “Shoo fly, don’t bother me,” ” Simple Simon Met a Pieman,” “The big ship sails on the alley-alley-oh,” “The Queen of Hearts,” and “Wee Willie Winkie. ”  Salley won the 2011 Golden Kite Award, 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, 2010 Horn Book Fanfare, and 2010 ALA Notable Book.

Why I like this book:  Reading this extraordinary book, is like sitting with an old friend.  It is a cozy bed time book and children will have fun memorizing the rhymes.  They will enjoy exploring each picture,  examining the detail and trying to figure out the items used in each illustration.   It took Salley Mavor five years to create all the breathtaking artwork that accompanies each rhyme.  She learned to sew as a child because “her mother believed that learning to make things by hand was an important life skill.”  Salley gathered acorns caps, twigs, stones, beads, buttons, and fabric to stitch together each intricate piece of artwork to highlight each rhyme.   A true labor of love!  Visit Salley at her Wee Folks Studio website, as she has many more books to browse.

Activities:  Encourage your child to select a favorite rhyme and illustrate it with items they can find both inside and outside the house — fabric, felt,  beads, buttons, yarn, string, markers, crayons, shells, twigs, acorn caps, stones,  and  bottle caps.  Provide them with paper, glue, and let them create their own masterpiece.  Check out the author’s note at the back of the book.  For more books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

30 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book – A Pocketful of Posies

  1. Pat, this looks so beautiful! i love nursery rhymes (I have that same feeling of settling down with an old friend!) and Sally’s art looks like you could spend hours poring over it. I wish you had shown more pictures because now I’m dying to see them 🙂 I’ll have to search this one out. (BTW, I received my copy of The Carpenter’s Gift, which is going to my niece and nephew for Christmas, and got the chance to read it. What a wonderful book! I’m so glad you brought it to my attention, and I know my little friends are going to love it because they live in NYC and see the tree at Rockefeller Center every year!)


    • Susanna, it is a book your spend hours pouring over. You can go to and they show more individual pictures. I was uncomfortable using them. Her website is wonderful, showing all of her hand-stitched bookes. You would really appreciate this. Salley received the Golden Kite Award for it last summer, but the book sold like hotcakes. Had my library order it for me, and it took several months — I really wanted this on the library shelves. Glad you received The Carpenter’s Gift — I kept mine because I loved it. Felt it was a little advanced for my granddaughter, so will hold it a year. So glad it arrived in time and LaMarche’s illustrations are just gorgeous!


  2. Just read Sally’s acceptance speech for the Horn Book award with many of the details you mentioned here. True dedication to craft! I will definitely look for this book to share with my family.


    • Cathy, it is an interesting story. The book is stunnning. She received the Golden Kite Award for it at the SCBWI conference last August. It is an absolutely beautiful book. And, it allows kids to be kids. Always have a probelm with young kids performing rock songs, instead of reciting age-appropriate material. Such a lovely gift book too.


  3. I, too, recently read Salley’s acceptance speech for the Horn Book award (and posted a link in the Hub Forum). Her art is amazing. I saw this book at SCBWI — why oh why didn’t I buy it? Just one more book wouldn’t have hurt…

    I must find this and read it. What fun it would be to pore over the illustrations with a child!


    • I know why you didn’t buy it, because it sold very quickly! I had to order it when I returned. I love the story behind her work. It gives new meaning to all of those rhymes we read as kids. It is just beautiful!


  4. Pat, I was already hooked when I saw the cover of the book. We are in need of more nursery rhyme books in our library collection, so you can be sure that I will be ordering this one! I can’t wait to see what other beautiful illustrations are inside the book. I think I’d like to try your idea of creating art with the children to accompany the rhymes.


  5. “Reading this extraordinary book, is like sitting with an old friend. ” I love that quote. I’m like Kelly, when I saw the cover I was in love. This looks like a great book. I like your idea of activities for it. Sounds like fun!


    • Julie, am happy you enjoyed the book. The artwork is amazing. The author just wrote me, and said it took her five years to create the illustrations — 10 years to develop her technique. Still pretty amazing!


  6. Thank you so much for writing such nice things about my book. I feel I must correct something, though, since it’s been mentioned that it took me 10 years to make Pocketful of Posies. The book project actually took 5 years, which is long enough. I think the mistake may have come from a write up that says it took me 10 years to develop my technique to the point where I was ready to illustrate my first book (in 1991). It is wonderful to know that so many adults and children are enjoying my work.


    • Salley, thank you for you note and for correcting me. My mistake. Have corrected it on the review. Five years is pretty amazing. Author Susanna Leonard Hill came up with the idea of hosting a Perfect Picture Book Friday, where authors/kid lit bloggers share their favorite picture books along with an activity. We are creating a list of our favorite books for parents, grandparents, librarians, teachers etc. I was excited about including this book on that list.

      I was at the SCBWI conference last summer where I was introduced to your book. I waited too late to purchase a copy. I checked my local library and they didn’t carry it, so I asked them to order the book. Felt that this book should be on the children’s shelves. Now, many more children in Centerville (Dayton) OH will have the opportunity to read your treasure. Again, thank you for taking a moment to stop by. Happy Holidays!


  7. Pingback: Felt Wee Folk by Salley Mavor | doll envy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s