Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood

Written by
Sarah Webb
Illustrated by
Steve McCarthy
A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea

Owls and pussycats, cockles and mussels, golden stockings, wiggly worms and rattlin’ bogs – they’re all here, and more. Another wonderful collection of rhymes to delight any child, from the author and illustrator Sally Go Round the Stars.



Children's Book of the Year (Junior) - 2017


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64 pages
280x220 mm

A beautifully illustrated collection of nursery rhymes to treasure, and songs, poems and rhymes to share. Enjoy Irish favourites like ‘Brian O’Linn’ and ‘I’ll Tell Me Ma’, classics such as ‘My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean’ and ‘Monday’s Child’, silly rhymes that every child will love like ‘Beans’, ‘Pardon Me’ and ‘On Top of Spaghetti’, as well as magical verses for children written by Oscar Wilde, Oliver St John Gogarty, James Joyce and others.  

Sarah Webb is the author of the Ask Amy Green and Songbird Café series for young readers. She worked for many years as a children’s bookseller and now combines writing with schools visits, reading and giving workshops at festivals, and teaching creative writing. In 2015, Sarah was awarded the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books. She is the Children’s Literary Advisor to Listowel Writers’ Week and was writer in residence for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2016/2017. For more, visit www.sarahwebb.info

Steve McCarthy is a Dublin-born art maker and obsessive picture-builder. With a keen interest in colour and character, Steve has managed to sneak his singular style into many forms, from Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar-nominated feature film Song of the Sea to children’s books and projects for brands worldwide. His work won Best Illustration at the IDI Irish Design Awards 2016. For more, visit www.mrstevemccarthy.com

Sarah and Steve’s first book together for The O’Brien Press was Sally Go Round the Stars (with Claire Ranson), which was nominated for Irish Children’s Book of the Year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.

this wonderfully illustrated book of popular rhymes and songs will delight children and even have adults belting out a verse or two

Irish Mail on Sunday

a gorgeous collection of rhymes, poems and songs that will transport you back to your childhood and will delight younger readers and parents alike

Sunday Independent

A beautifully illustrated collection of nursery rhymes to treasure, and songs, poems and rhymes to share

Primary Times Magazine

gorgeously illustrated … artistic magic

Belfast Telegraph

beautifully illustrated and full of Irish nursery rhyme favourites, this new book will bring you straight back to you your childhood … you will love sharing this new book with your little ones

Irish Post

what a treat … a charming trip down memory lane all wrapped up in a beautiful, contemporary visual bow


the first thing that strikes you about this gorgeous book is the arresting cover. Look closer, and you will be impressed by the range of incredible colours, the magnificent illustrations and the outstanding design

RTEjr’s Book Club

Sarah Webb has put together an entertaining and diverse collection of nursery rhymes, rhymes, poems and songs that will transport you back and have you humming for the rest of the day. A book to be read aloud and shared!

RTEjr’s Book Club

incredible and fun … the illustrations are bright and lively, setting the mood on each page… perfect to read and share

Children’s Books Ireland Recommended Reading Guide 2017

a beautiful book which will capture your attention right from the superbly illustrated front cover … Each poem is individually illustrated in a style that suits each one, and the overall effect is a lively and vibrant book that will become a popular part of a child's library; once to return to over and over again

Parents in Touch

beautifully illustrated

Irish Country Magazine

a careful balance struck between virtuous and naughty … an anthology ideal for young children both here and abroad … a beautiful book sure to be appreciated by a wide audience

Irish Times

well-rounded and varied collection … a book that has ‘Christmas present’ written all over it … due in no small part to the striking illustrations of Steve McCarthy

Evening Echo

glorious ... it’s a thing of beauty

Kim Harte

avast, ye rapscallions, and float to worlds of rhythmic doubloons and iambic bliss

Totally Dublin
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Other books by this author
  • Emma the Penguin
  • Sally Go Round The Stars

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