Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books

Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes

Book Details

Genre & Age: Fantasy picture book (ages 3-7)
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages, 7″ x 9″
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
ISBN: 978-1455620326

Enter an enchanted land of mythical creatures where manticores reign and ogres roar. With a unique twist on traditional rhymes, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes presents a darker approach to these childhood classics, and yet the sing-song nature of the poems renders them playful and jovial at the same time. Little Witch Muffet is not frightened by a silly, little spider; she adds him to her stew! If you enjoy mischief and have a penchant for the morbidly hilarious, the rhymes will satisfy your mythological curiosity. The book also includes a “bestiary” with information about the book’s legendary creatures.

Get the Book

From the author (signed)
From Bookshop
From Amazon
– From Pelican Publishing
From Mysterious Galaxy Books
From Barnes & Noble
From Walmart

Beyond the Pale Goodreads Reviews

Teachers and parents, download the free Monster Goose Study Guide (2.8 MB)


This distinctive collection deserves to be enjoyed year round.”
Publishers Weekly

– Won Best Picture Book award at Orange County SCBWI Editor’s Day

“The authors excellently work within the rhyme schemes of the classic nursery rhymes and incorporate rich vocabulary invoking the world-building elements of the fantasy genre. Each rhyme is given a spread and is set against darkly delightful illustrations reminiscent of comic book art. The ancient creatures brought to life here do not frighten, but rather intrigue in much the same way that the macabre elements in J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Neil Gaiman’s work fascinates young readers. Dark here is synonymous with different, not bad; each spread includes a wealth of details sure to make readers linger and bring them back for subsequent rereadings. The infectious rhythm of the text complete with its delicious word choice makes this an engaging read-aloud title for sharing one-on-one or with an audience.”
— School Library Journal

For all of us who grew up loving Dungeons & Dragons and Tolkien, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes is an excellent way to introduce our little ones to the world of fantasy!
Drew Daywalt, author of the New York Times bestseller The Day the Crayons Quit

Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes is an inventive welcome to the traditional rhymes we all grew up with. Both kids and adults, whose interest are a bit dark and creepy and off the beaten path, will revel in the rhymes’ inventive dark humor. Bravo!
Dan Yaccarino, author and illustrator of Unlovable, Doug Unplugged, and more

Monstrously clever—I’d rather Mary had a hippogriff than a ‘little lamb’ any day!
Molly Idle, Caldecott Honor winning illustrator of Flora and the Flamingo and more

Monstrously clever and soon to be schoolyard standards.
Tara Lazar, PiBoIdMo host and author of The Monstore, I Thought This Was a Bear Book and more

Nursery rhymes have always had a dark edge to them from eating spiders to catching toes of tigers. Henry, Josh and Harrison have created a perfect Halloween treat by embracing the ghoulish side of Mother Goose, leveling up the beastly fun! Well done!
Ron Noble, Emmy Winning animation director of Rugrats, Rocket Power & The Wild Thornberrys

What a clever concept! Henry Herz and sons have rewritten Mother Goose with a monstrous twist that will trigger giggles from little ghouls and goblins.
Deb Lund, bestselling author of Monsters on Machines, Dinosauring, and more

Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes is an elfishly edifying, bewitchingly funny, and just plain zombie-tastic take on well-loved nursery rhymes. It made me realize my inner child is actually an inner ogre.
Mo O’Hara, author of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

What a romp! Kids who love a bit of fright (but not so much to cause nightmares) will gobble up this delightfully dark offering from the Herzes. Larson’s whimsical illustrations are spot on, setting the tone and yet keeping the fun. This is going to be a popular book with young readers.
Larry Dane Brimner, author of Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene “Bull” Connor

Dark, delightful, and full of twisted good humor. A monstrously good addition to the nursery rhyme canon.
Bruce Hale, author-illustrator of the Chet Gecko Mysteries, Clark the Shark, and more

A slightly spooky and dazzlingly delightful look at classic nursery rhymes, re-imagined with mythical creatures and unexpected outcomes. Filled with fascinating rhymes that will captivate an excite readers and transport them into an unearthly land. Herz pairs a whimsical playfulness with a mischievous flair that is sure to enchant young and old alike.
Peggy Eddleman, author of the Sky Jumpers series

What if Jack Horner were a troll? Or if Mary had a hippogriff? As a big fan of nursery rhymes, I loved seeing them transformed into monster lore, while keeping the perfect nursery rhyme rhythm and meter.
Bridget Heos, author of Mustache Baby, Mustache Baby Meets His Match, and more

A funny and clever reworking of classic nursery rhymes that will give parents a safe and pleasurable way of introducing their children to fantasy, the paranormal, and Dungeons & Dragons, with gorgeous non-scary illustrations.
Gini Koch, author of The Night Beat and the award-winning Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series

The charm and wit of the poems in this book is matched only by Abigail’s beautiful and timeless illustrations.
Brian Kesinger, story artist for Walt Disney animation and author of Traveling with Your Octopus

Reviews & Press Coverage

– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes by Henry Herz (New Book Journal)
– An Author’s Flights of Fantasy: Nurturing the Spark of Creativity in Young People (UCSD Extension)
– Dinner Guests by Henry Herz (Dab of Darkness)
– Josh, Harrison & Dad’s Excellent Adventure (Dark Matter Zine)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes and Some Very Special Dinner Guests (SF Signal – Hugo Award winning fanzine)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Storybook Spotlight podcast)
– Starting Your Kids Down the Yellowbrick Road (Legendarium)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Publishers Weekly – “the bible of the book business”)
– Review of Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (White Sky Project)
– Dinner Guests (Live to Read)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes review (Lynn’s Book Blog)
– Guest Post by Josh, Harrison and Henry Herz (Speculative Book Review)
– ‘Mother Goose’ takes darker path with reimagined nursery rhymes (Del Mar Times)
– Book Review and Author Spotlight (Christy’s Cozy Corners)
– Review: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Hott Books)
– For Fantasy Fans of All Ages (Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (A Fantastical Librarian)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Have Your Heard My Book Review)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Books Are My Life)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (A Casual Reader’s Blog)
– Carmel Valley Author’s Monster Goose a Hit (Del Mar-Carmel Valley Patch)
– Starting Your Kids Down the Yellow Brick Road (Bookingly Yours)
– Where Fantasy Comes to Life: Hanging Out with Elves, Wizards, and Wookiees (UCSD Extension Catalog)
– Review: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Dab of Darkness)
– Where Strange and Dangerous Monsters Lurk (Legendarium)
– KidLit Quiz: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (7 Magic Islands)
– New Takes on Nursery Rhymes (Unpacking the Power of Picture Books)
– Henry L. Herz on Dinner Guests (Cynsations by Cynthia Leitich Smith)
– Josh, Harrison & Dad’s Excellent Adventure (My Blog by A.J. Cosmo)
– Thursday Trailer: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Bookingly Yours)
– Q&A with Author Henry Herz (Shut Up & Read)
– Gnomes and Zombies and Goblins, Oh My! (Paws 4 Thought)
– Dinner Guests (Julie Butcher’s Blog)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Just One More Chapter)
– Monster Goose (Harmony Kent Online)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Storytime Books)
– Review: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Reading Through Life)
– Book Recommendation: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (Miss Marple’s Musings)
– Three Questions with Henry Herz (Debbie Ohi’s Inkygirl)
– Darkly Delightful: Illustrator Abigail Larson (Coven Book Club)
– Review: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (San Francisco Book Review)
– An Interview with Henry Herz (Kite Tales – SCBWI SoCal Newsletter)
– Review: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes (San Diego Book Review)
– Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes Book Review (Popular Product Reviews)

Meet the Monsters & Study Guide

Meet the Monsters is a series of educational articles providing the mythological and cultural background for the monsters in Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes. The Study Guide contains learning activities for home or classroom use.

Monstrous Halloween recipes

Spooky Witches’ Fingers
Halloween Ghosties
Spider Cupcakes
Bloodshot Eyeballs
Witches’ Hats
Banana Ghosts & Berry Ghouls
Dracula Cookies
Meringue Bones
Dancing Mummies
Gummy Worm Punch
Eye of Newt Jello

16 thoughts on “Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes

  1. How exciting! I’d love to read this!

  2. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Brownies | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  3. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Centaurs | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  4. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Dwarves | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  5. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Fauns | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  6. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Giants | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  7. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Gnomes | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  8. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Harpies | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  9. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Hydras | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  10. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Imps | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  11. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Manticores | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  12. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Minotaurs | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  13. Pingback: Meet the Monsters – Ogres | HENRYHERZ.COM → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  14. I just purchased this book for my soon-to-be born niece. This is such a wonderfully refreshing introduction to mythological creatures!

  15. Thanks for the kind words and support, Crystal.

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