Mother Goose on the Loose

Mother Goose character drawing and Mother Goose on the Loose title hand-drawn letter

Mother Goose on the Loose is an award-winning literacy program designed for children ages birth to 6 years. Our youngest community members will have a chance to get free books and enjoy special storytimes when Mother Goose visits area childcare centers.

What’s so great about Mother Goose on the Loose?

Mother Goose on the Loose is designed to help young children gain:

  • A love for learning through nursery rhyme activities and music that will ensure their success throughout their school experiences
  • Social and emotional skills such as taking turns, following directions, showing appreciation to others, developing confidence in themselves and playing with other children
  • Fine and gross motor skills through fingerplays, dances, and physical exercise
  • Literacy-based measurements including holding a book correctly, turning pages appropriately, and understanding text flows from left to right
  • Language skills by learning new words, singing songs, hearing sound patterns in words and understanding concepts such as “high” and “low” and phoneme awareness
  • General knowledge about the world by identifying shapes, colors, and animals, etc.

How did Mother Goose on the Loose get started?

The Mother Goose on the Loose literacy program is  a “proven method for planning and presenting programs that focuses on the whole child and incorporates research-based theories of learning, music, puppets, picture books, nursery rhymes, art, play, and language. It helps young children develop and strengthen early literacy and school readiness skills in a nurturing environment through engaging activities.” ( Mother Goose on the Loose was designed and developed by Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, a children’s librarian and recipient of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies’ Leadership and Professional Achievement Award for revolutionizing storytimes for young children.

Mother Goose will provide free age-appropriate books to children during the storytimes to encourage children to continue learning with their parents at home. The initiative is designed to help parents and providers engage with children and understand the skills their child is learning through the activities introduced in the storyimes. Through repetition and flexibility, “Mother Goose” can demonstrate how easily adaptable elements of the storytime are to mimic at home or at a childcare center.

Why is Mother Goose so valuable?

Statistics indicate 33% of Champaign County kindergartners are unprepared on their  first day of school. ( Mother Goose on the Loose is designed to help children develop kindergarten readiness skills and pre-reading skills. Through “principles of 80% repetition, 10 recurring sections, 2 developmental tips per session, and built-in opportunities to give positive reinforcement,” the program “helps children acquire a rich vocabulary and strengthens foundational reading skills. Mother Goose on the Loose gives children opportunities to practice turn-taking, direction following, paying attention, and showing appreciation to others. The age-appropriate listening, moving, and singing that takes place in Mother Goose on the Loose exercises fine and gross motor skills, fosters speech development, keeps children’s interest for an extended period of time, gives children opportunities to make scientific observations regarding cause and effect, and provides a joyful introduction to the world of books and reading.” (

How can I schedule a visit from Mother Goose?

Mother Goose on the Loose provides recurring storytimes at specific locations in Champaign and Urbana in addition to participating in community events.  For more information, contact the Champaign Public Library’s Mother Goose, Dana Antonelli, at


Presented in partnership with United Way of Champaign County.

Mother Goose
Mini Storytime

start screen for mini storytime - Miss Dana, "Mother Goose," holding up puppet

“Mother Goose” Dana Antonelli shares songs and rhymes to enjoy with your child in a mini Mother Goose on the Loose storytime. For ages 0–6. (14 min) Watch on YouTube »

Storytimes at Both Locations!

Mother Goose Storytimes meet monthly at 11:15 am:
• Last Monday of the month at the Douglass Branch
• Last Wednesday of the month at the Main Library

Questions? Ask us.

Dana Antonelli
Mother Goose

Mother Goose character illustration standing


Questions? Ask Us.