Hi and welcome to the new Mother Goose on the Loose Blog!

Look here for an updated listing of events and feel free to add any comments or questions you have about Mother Goose on the Loose.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fan Club

My good friend, Gerri Baum, started a Mother Goose on the Loose fan club on Facebook. Please feel free to join!!!

Constructive Playthings is having a sale on colored scarves: a package of 12 scarves on sale for $7.48! (Item XX-204). And cluster bells are on sale for $1.70 per bell (Item xx-263). If you need either of these items, these are great deals; order from 1-800-448-4115 or www.cptoys.com. (This is not a paid announcement - just a friendly tip!)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Developmental Tip Cards are Available!!!!!

At long last..... I am delighted to say that the developmental tip cards that I created along with Saroj Ghoting are finally available!

When presenting Mother Goose on the Loose training workshops, I often heard participants say that the most difficult thing for them was coming up with new developmental tips for parents and caregivers each week.

I envisioned a deck of developmental tip cards that could be used in any early literacy program. Related to school readiness, each card would have a brief tip relating to one of the domains of school readiness, written in easy language for adults of all levels to understand. On the flip side of the card would be suggestions for the presenter regarding activities that could go along with the tip; i.e. a song, story, craft activity, or suggested project for home that the presenter could either lead or mention.

I asked Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting if she would like to partner me in the writing of these cards, and ALA Editions agreed to be our publisher. We wrote a short manual describing the domains of school readiness and explaining how to use the tip cards. And the complete package arrived at my home in the mail yesterday! What a treat!!!! ALA Editions did a wonderful job of producing it, and I believe this is going to be extremely helpful to anyone who is running programs for adults with children ages 5 and under.

early lit kitThe Early Literacy Kit:
A Handbook and Tip Cards

For more information and to order book.

Also, I'm looking forward to my presentation at the New England Library Association this weekend!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Exciting week in Indiana

I have just returned from an exciting week in Indiana! For five days, I drove up, down, and around the state presenting Mother Goose on the Loose workshops. I visited Fort Wayne, Merrillsville, Lebanon, Jeffersonville and Evansville. Some of the groups were large and some were not so big, but in each place I was greeting with Midwest warmth and enthusiasm. Indiana is a beautiful state, and the librarians there are great!

In between Jeffersonville and Evansville, it was recommended that we stop at a restaurant off the highway called "The Overlook." What a gorgeous place! Windows overlook a hairpin turn of the meandering Ohio River; there is green everywhere and the sunsets are splendid!

I'm now back in Baltimore, and a colleague just sent me a link to a wonderful article on brain research and how children learn. It is from the New York Times, written by Alison Gopnik, and can be accessed at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/opinion/16gopnik.html

Sunday, August 2, 2009

MGOL lives on...

One of my friends sent me this link to a YouTube video about Mother Goose on the Loose at the Enoch Pratt Library. Even though I have left Pratt and am now working at Port Discovery, it's great to see the people I trained running such an enthusiastic program.


An article about Rachel MacNeilly's program in the San Francisco area,


Friday, July 3, 2009

NAFCC Conference

The National Association for Family Child Care Provider was last week. For the first time, I had a booth in the exhibits area, and more than 1/10 of the people at the conference stopped by. The session included a sample program. There was no space in our room for moving chairs or sitting on the floor, so 60 people squeezed into the hallway and we ran our sample program there. Not very wide, but very, very, long. It actually went well.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Workshop in Kennewick, Washington!

Mother Goose on the Loose Workshop

Saturday, May 30
9am to 4pm

Mid-Columbia Libraries
Kennewick Branch
1620 S. Union St.

Mother Goose on the Loose is an award-winning early-literacy program for
children from birth to age three. It combines music, movement, visual
literacy, language development to help children get ready to read. Even
more important, it helps young children get ready for school by learning
how to focus and concentrate, learning social skills like taking turns,
learning how to express emotions, and developing a love for learning that
will ensure their success throughout their school experiences.

Cost is $35 includes lunch and “5 STARS Hours”

For Registration Call: Child Care Resource & Referral (509) 545-6145

Catholic Family and Child Service: MidColumbia Libraries:
Diocese of Yakima Grow your mind

Friday, April 3, 2009

New program in South Carolina

Check out this article from South Carolina now. It's great to see the training put into immediate action!

And here is a post from the South Carolina library listserv:

From: Forum for SC Public Library Children's Services Staff
[mailto:CHILDLIB-L@LISTSERV.SCSL.STATE.SC.US] On Behalf Of Deann McManus
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 9:38 AM
Subject: Re: [CHILDLIB-L] Mother Goose on the Loose

I started doing MGOL for my Toddler program the next Thursday. I just did my third one yesterday. It's been a huge hit with the 3 and under crowd. Even the grandparents like the knee bounces! And the parents have started inviting friends. Last fall I had 3 for my toddler program on a great week. Now I'm averaging 7. Of course, our new building has contributed to the growth, but I KNOW that the MGOL program will bring more patrons in.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Friday, I had an exhilarating visit to Terra Haute, Indiana. There, United Way of the Wabash Valley has partnered with the Vigo County Public Library and Success by Six and received a Mother Goose on the Loose grant. I presented a workshop for librarians, daycare providers, trainers, program directors, and others which was great fun. At the end of the day, I was shown the new car which was paid for by the grant!

The decals have not been put on it yet, but I was given these pictures showing the final product! This will be the very first "Mother Goose on the Loose mobile!" One of the librarians is going to do outreach to daycares by traveling around in this vehicle and providing roving Mother Goose on the Loose programs. How cool!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Upcoming Workshops in Baltimore

A full-day MGOL training will be held at Port Discovery Children's Museum on Monday, May 18. There will also be a training on Tuesday, May 19 for English speakers who would like to start a Spanish langauge Mother Goose on the Loose program (Eschucha y Disfruta) at their library (but do not necessarily speak Spanish).

Both workshops will be led by Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, creator of Mother Goose of the Loose.
Additional trainers will include Regina Wade for the full-day training workshop and Rose Hernandez for the workshop focusing on Spanish speakers.

Each workshop involves background information on recent research, brain develompent, child development, and school readiness. There is a hands-on demonstation, a connection of the research with the practice, a step-by-step guide to planning and executing your program. There is also a piece where each person makes their own flannel board piece and then has the opportunity to perform their rhyme in front of the group. Since we know that the best way to learn is by doing, our workshop reflects that. I can guarantee that anyone who participates in the workshop will leave with the knowledge, the skill, and the inspiration to present Mother Goose on the Loose programs at their own libraries.

Non-Spanish-speaking participants in the Spanish workshop will leave with the toos and inspiration to start their own programs. The workshop covers how to look for a community partner who speaks Spanish, (knowing how to look and where to look), what points to keep in consideration, how to work together with a partner, how to prepare yourir library for this type of program, what type of content is needed, and how to organize and present the content of this specific program (Eschucha y Disfruta - Mother Goose on the Loose en Español. Anyone who does not yet run Spanish langauge programs for families with young children but would like to start, would find this workshop very helpful.

Workshop dates and times are as follows:

Monday May 18th 2009 English Workshop 9 am -4pm (1 hour break for lunch)
Tuesday May 19th 2009 Workshop for learning how to run Mother Goose on the Loose in Spanish (Eschucha y Disfruta) 9 am -3pm (1 hour break for lunch)

Location: Port Discovery Children's Museum, 35 Market Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Please return completed registration form by email.

Checks can be made out to: Mother Goose on the Loose, LLC, and can be sent to:

Mother Goose on the Loose
P.O. Box 20857
Baltimore, Maryland 21209

Questions? Call: 443 928-3915


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One Hour Telephone Course

The evaluations are in from the one-hour telephone course on Mother Goose I presented on Friday, February 20, 2009 for the Education Institute, part of The Partnership - Canada's national network of provincial and territorial library associations.

Comments include:

-Speaker was clear, spoke quickly but was easy to listen to and understand. Covered a lot of info.

-We had a great time! We now have many new songs (with lyrics) to offer our toddlers at storytime.

-Enjoyed the enthusiasm of the speaker. it was very well organized and presented.

-Enjoyed this session very much. It was great to see that we are on the right track here in our library as we follow a similar, though not exact, way of doing our baby and toddler programs.

-Reassuring to know that we already incorporate many of the suggestions in our program; great to get new rhyme ideas.

-I appreciated the balance of theoretical information as well as practical examples of stuff I can use in my programs.

-I appreciate the enthusiasm and new ideas. I'm looking forward to trying them.

-Enjoyed it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pictures from the South Carolina Workshop

Deborah Hotchkiss just sent me a link to the Flicker slideshow of the training workshop I recently did in South Carolina. Look at all the great flannel board pieces people made! Also, there is a brief YouTube video. Check it out!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tony Chestnut

During the Flannel Board presentations at the workshop in South Carolina, I heard some wonderful new songs. One of them was Tony Chestnut, which was taped and uploaded to YouTube. Have a look at this cool song:

Try it some time at your library!

Workshops in Pennsylvania

Regina and I will be leaving for Pennsylvania today, where we will be doing two workshops in Washington and Butler, and then another two workshops next month.

If anyone lives in Pennsylvania and would like to attend the workshops, check for more details on this Website:


Sunday, March 8, 2009

NEW Training workshops in Baltimore

It's Official!!!!!!

On Monday, May 18, the very first Mother Goose on the Loose training workshop for individuals will be held in Baltimore, at the Port Discovery Children's Museum. If you would like to learn how to run Mother Goose on the Loose programs at your library, museum, or childcare center, this is your golden opportunity!

And, if you would like to learn how to run Mother Goose on the Loose programs in Spanish (even if you don't speak Spanish), come to the "Escucha y Disfruta con Mamá Gansa: Mother Goose on the Loose Program for Spanish-speaking Families"">which will be held at Port Discovery on the following day (Tuesday, May 19)!

For more information and registration, write to: mgol@mgol.net

Chickens in New Hampshire

For the past few days, I've been up in New Hampshire, working on a new CD for the Spanish language version of Mother Goose on the Loose. With Rahel (guitarist for all of the Mother Goose on the Loose CDs), Jim McClure (owner of Betsy's Folly Studio), and Iris Cotto (an inspiring librarian who recorded a great deal of the Spanish script), a few chickens, one protective rooster, much laughter, and sandwiches from the corner store, all of the necessary recording was finished.

Now it's time for the busy work... listening to every single bit of the recordings, deciding what to keep and what to discard, making note of the times and position of each relevant piece, and deciding what needs to be edited.

This morning I read a new review of Booktalking Bonanza from School Library Journal. It's a nice review, but my last name is spelled incorrectly!

DIAMONT-COHEN, Betsy & Selma K. Levi. Booktalking Bonanza: Ten Ready-to-Use Multimedia Sessions for the Busy Librarian. 240p. illus. photos. reprods. appendix. bibliog. further reading. index. Web sites. CIP. ALA. 2008. pap. $40. ISBN 978-0-8389-0965-2. LC 2008015371.

Librarians looking for ways to engage media-obsessed children need search no further. Originally a presentation called "Booktalking with Pizzazz," presented at the 2004 American Library Association's Annual Conference, this volume is a collection of scripts for multimedia-enriched booktalks. After an introductory chapter that explains the reasoning for this approach, 10 scripts are outlined. Books, music, video, and Web sites are included for each one. The programs are geared toward elementary-aged children, although suggestions for adapting them for a middle or high school audience are included. The script for the ALA program is included, as is a concluding chapter with further advice and tips. Librarians can follow the scripts included in the book, adapt them for their own resources and needs, or use them as a place to start their own programs. Of particular interest to teachers and school library media specialists, especially those who are experienced booktalkers, this guide will help lead the way to a new kind of presentation.—Melissa Rabey, Frederick County Public Libraries, Frederick, MD

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Regina and I are now in Chicago, getting ready for our second of two full-day Mother Goose on the Loose training workshops.  There were 78 people at yesterday's workshop, and although it was crowded, it was great fun!  Some of the flannel board creations were incredible, and the audience was very responsive.  The room itself was at the top of the Chicago Public Library, with lots of windows and sunlight pouring in, which was wonderful.  We are looking forward to another exhilarating workshop today and then we head for home.


On Monday, I presented a new workshop -- Library Programming for School Age Children for children's librarians in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.  Participants shared some of their most successful programs alongside my presentation of the many types of programs (with examples) that can be used successfully with elementary school children.  

While the workshop was lots of fun, the title of workshop needs some jazzing up. "Library Programming for School Age Children" is NOT an exciting title! So, if any blog readers have recommendations for a new title for this workshop, please send in your suggestions.


Thursday, February 19, 2009


Charles Harmon from Neal-Schuman Publishers just sent me an email saying that my book:

Mother Goose on the Loose : a handbook and CD-ROM kit with scripts, rhymes, songs, flannel-board patterns, and activities for promoting early childhood development

has just sold through it's first printing and it now on it's second printing! Hooray!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Even though this is a Mother Goose on the Loose Website, I can take a few liberties and mention how exciting it is to see the first reviews for Booktalking Bonanza (written by librarian Selma Levi and me and published by ALA Editions.)

Midwest Book Review had a review at http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Booktalking+Bonanza.-a0191955287 and gave our book 5 stars in their Amazon.com review!

And here's another review from:

The Tech Static

Your collection development resource for technology titles

Review - Booktalking Bonanza

booktalking bonanza coverDiamant-Cohen, Betsy, and Selma K. Levi. Booktalking Bonanza: Ten Ready-To-Use Multimedia Sessions for the Busy Librarian. ALA Editions. 2009. 240p. ISBN 978-0-8389-0965-2. $40.00/$36.00 ALA members.

You will indeed be a very busy librarian if you decide to recreate all of these multimedia booktalking presentations, which incorporate music, video, and computer clips, as well as readings from multiple books. They cover topics as varied as Lightning, Immigration, and — my personal favorite — Body Parts: Missing, Extra, and Just Plain Strange. Organized in a straightforward manner, Booktalking Bonanza provides whole scripts for each multimedia booktalk, along with websites for the video and music clips suggested; each presentation provides enough material for two or three real-life booktalks. While I wouldn’t recommend this book for a beginner booktalker, it is perfect for those of us who have been around the block a few times and are looking for some new and invigorating ways to spice up our delivery. Most booktalks target a younger audience, but the authors also give ample examples of booktalks for older grade school, teens, and even adults to adapt to your situation. One plus: the authors included readings from the actual books (which many booktalking books do not suggest or recommend, but which I have found useful in capturing students’ attention) — even including page numbers from the books. I’m only sorry I haven’t had the privilege to see this team in action as they present these multimedia booktalks.

Tasha Squires is a young adult consultant for Shorewood-Troy Public Library District. Her book Library Partnerships: Making Connections Between School and Public Libraries, will be published by ITI in early 2009.

Written by rachel, January 9th, 2009 at 10:01 am, Posted in ala editions, multimedia, professional,Tagged with , , , ,

COMMENT: Selma and I will be presenting snippets from "Booktalking Bonanza" at ALA in Chicago on Sunday afternoon from 1:30 - 3:30 and we'd love to have a large audience!

Audio Course Being Offered

On Feb. 20, the Education Institute of Ontario will be hosting another Mother Goose on the Loose audio course. For more information, see: http://thepartnership.ca/partnership/bins/calendar_page.asp

Friday, Feb. 20th, 2-3pm ET
Mother Goose on the Loose
with Betsy Diamant-Cohen - 1 hour AUDIO CONFERENCE

Learn about the award-winning early literacy program, Mother Goose on the Loose. After a brief review of theories of learning based on findings in brain research, hear about the structure of Mother Goose on the Loose and how it combines language, books, illustration, music, movement, drama, and creative interaction to create an optimal learning environment. Experience program songs and rhymes created by Canadian music educator, Barbara Cass-Beggs. Connect the program components with best practices for developing school readiness skills. Learn how to incorporate all this into your own early childhood programs.

REGISTER AT WWW.THEPARTNERSHIP.CA and scroll down to the 'Education Institute'

Fees for AUDIO Conferences
Member: $54.00 + GST
Non-Member: $74.00 + GST

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back from California

Yesterday, I arrived home from the Spanish language workshop in Roseville, California. I learned so much there! In addition to presenting the workshop with two talented presenters - Rachel MacNeilly and Melissa Da - I participated in conversations about the Spanish language and the culture of different Spanish speakers.

Based on that, I am going to revise the original program to include many more traditional Spanish language songs from around the world. Since the Spanish spoken in different countries varies in both vocabulary and spelling, finding someone to proofread the book I am writing will be a challenge. If anyone reading this blog knows a good translator who is aware of the nuances and slight variations, and familiar with Spanish language children's songs, please let me know!

Also, if you know of any Spanish language songs that are terrific that fit in with one of the 10 sections of a standard Mother Goose on the Loose program, feel free to send your suggestion to me!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Congregate in Colorado!

Since I will be in Denver for both the ALISE and ALA conferences, I would love to meet anyone interested in Mother Goose on the Loose. I will be in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt Hotel from 3:30 - 4:30 on Friday January 23 and from 3:30 - 4:30 on Sunday, January 25, holding a Mother Goose stuffed animal/puppet. Feel free to come with questions, anecdotes, photos for sharing, and songs.

I look forward to meeting people who are successfully using Mother Goose on the Loose in their libraries, and will be happy to speak with others about booking training workshops or purchasing CDs.

See you there!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Mother Goose is really on the Loose!

Due to my passion for Mother Goose on the Loose and my belief that it is an extraordinary program that can benefit children and parents immensely, I decided to lessen the time spent in other work situations and to devote more time to training people to run Mother Goose on the Loose programs. So, after ten years at the Enoch Pratt Free Library working full-time as the Children's Programming Specialist, at the end of December I accepted a part-time job as Early Childhood Specialist at Port Discovery Children's Museum. When we arrived in Baltimore, my first job for Pratt was as the Manager of the Exploration Center, the Enoch Pratt Free Library location inside of Port Discovery. I enjoyed being part of both the public library and the children's museum.

When budget cuts meant the closure of the Exploration Center, I was tranferred to Pratt's Central Library where I worked as the Children's Programming Specialist until recently.

Now that I am only receiving a salary for part-time employment, I hope to do many more training workshops with the extra tmie to spread the word (and also to help support my family!)

So, if you would like to schedule a training workshop, or know of someone else who would like to schedule a training workshop, please feel free to contact me!!! All requests can be sent to info@mgol.org, or you can respond directly to this post.

Why is Mother Goose on the Loose great? Rather than me telling you (I am obviously biased), I will ask some librarians to post their comments. Please feel free to add your stories as well.



Mother Goose on the Loose Blog

Hi and welcome to the new Mother Goose on the Loose Blog!

I will give updates of upcoming events here and welcome any comments or questions you have about Mother Goose on the Loose.


About Me

My photo
Baltimore, MD, United States
Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen created the Mother Goose on the Loose ® program while working in Jerusalem in the late 1980s at the Israel Museum Youth Wing Library. She holds a doctorate in Communications Design and a Masters in Library Science. Betsy was named a 'Mover and Shaker' by Library Journal in 2004; her book, Mother Goose on the Loose : a handbook and CD-ROM kit with scripts, rhymes, songs, flannel-board patterns, and activities for promoting early childhood development was published by Neal-Schuman in 2006. Check out her Website at www.mgol.net!