Who was "Mother Goose"??? Well, there is no one answer, because there is no direct evidence to support just one theory. We do know that English speaking countries are the only places where her rhymes are well known.
Mother Goose Rhymes are nonsense poems that were made up not only to entertain children, but to teach them about language and math, and also to help calm their fears and lull them to sleep.
Whether Mother Goose came from France: "Queen Goosefoot" (said queen had one foot bigger than the other); or England: "Martha Gooch", the first book of nursery rhymes was printed in 1765 in England - according to NurseryRhymesOnline.com.
How to choose the best edition for your little gosling? Gladys Hunt, author of HONEY FOR A CHILD'S HEART, suggests durability of the book and simpler verses for the youngest. She also suggests taking into account which illustrations your child would like the best. Eventually you'll want to get a more comprehensive collection. Some of her recommendations:
Iona Opie's MY VERY FIRST MOTHER GOOSE and companion, HERE COMES MOTHER GOOSE (both illustrated by Rosemary Wells).
Mary Engelbreit, author and illustrator- MARY ENGELBREIT'S MOTHER GOOSE.
Tommie dePaola, author and illustrator - TOMMIE DEPAOLA'S MOTHER GOOSE.
Arnold Lobel - THE ARNOLD LOBEL BOOK OF MOTHER GOOSE (over 300 rhymes!)