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Review: “A Nursery Rhyme for Every Night of the Year” by Allie Esiri

Read what Mumsnet editor and mum-of-two, Rachel, thought of the latest release by Allie Esiri, and get the opportunity to grab a copy for yourself. 

By Rachel Erdos | Last updated May 4, 2023

Allie Esiri and "A Nursery Rhyme for Every Night of the Year"

“A Nursery Rhyme for Every Night of the Year”: reviewed by Rachel Erdos, MNHQ, and Ruby (3) and Stanley (6)

As a mum to a three-year-old and a six-year-old, a regular at library singalong sessions and a daughter of a former pre-school manager, I thought I was pretty well versed when it came to classic nursery rhymes. But a few pages into Allie Esiri's beautiful collection of nursery rhymes and I'm amazed to discover how many lines completely passed me by in the playground. I knew little of Michael Finnegan’s love of gin or about the awful incident involving his shin. And I had no idea that there are a grand total of 12 verses in London Bridge is Falling Down.  

As the name suggests, the book features a nursery rhyme for each night of the year. It’s delightfully curated, with seasonal nods throughout and key dates like Women’s Day, Diwali and Halloween are celebrated with pertinent prose. My toddler was immediately drawn to the silliness of Spike Milligan’s ‘Ning Nang Nong’ and the lyrical drama of the ‘Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly’, and my six-year-old got stuck right into the tongue twisters. Each rhyme features an interesting tidbit about the piece (but nothing too heavy to digest at bedtime) and the cute illustrations by Emily Faccini work well for younger readers. 

It’s an enjoyable read for both kids and parents. It’s allowed me to relive childhood memories with my little ones, given new life to long-forgotten nursery rhymes, and introduced us all to brand new pieces, hopefully fostering a love of poetry in the process. And it’s a great way to break up fairytale fatigue (particularly if, like us, you’ve had the same three books on request for the past month). 

From sweet odes to silly verses, this charming collection would make a gorgeous baby shower gift, a lovely present for a grandparent or an adorable first birthday memento. 

Get your own copy of “A Nursery Rhyme for Every Night of the Year”

To celebrate the release of Allie’s latest collection, we’re giving one lucky Mumsnet user the chance to get their hands on a full set of the ‘poetry powerhouse’s’ best selling poetry anthologies, which includes:

  • “A Poem for Every Day of the Year”
  • “A Poem for Every Night of the Year”
  • “Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year”
  • “A Poet for Every Day of the Year”
  • “A Nursery Rhyme for Every Day of the Year”
  • “A Poem for Every Summer Day”
  • “A Poem for Every Winter Day”
  • “A Poem for Every Spring Day”
  • “A Poem for Every Autumn Day”

Plus, 10 runners-up will each receive their own copy of Allie’s “A Nursery Rhyme for Every Night of the Year” to add to their bookshelf. All you have to do is fill in your details below to enter the giveaway!

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Mumsnet T&Cs apply. The giveaway is open to UK residents only. Competition closes at 11.59pm on 15th June 2023.

About Allie Esiri

Allie Esiri

Allie Esiri is an award-winning anthologist and curator and host of live poetry events at London’s National Theatre, Bridge Theatre, and at major international literary festivals. 

Allie's bestselling anthologies “Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year”, “A Poem for Every Day of the Year”, “A Poem for Every Night of the Year” and “A Poet for Every Day of the Year” have lit an explosion of interest in poetry, are regularly chosen for National Poetry Day and have been picked as best books of the year in the Observer, New Statesman and The Times. Stand out live performances at theatres, festivals and on audio with poems read by some of our best-known actors are capturing and enthralling a new generation of poetry lovers. 

Allie was the judge of the CLIPPA 2021 poetry prize, chair of the Secret Winter Gala for Save the Children, an advisor to National Poetry Day, on the development board of the Royal Court Theatre and the advisory board of the Cheltenham Literature Festival.