The joy of nursery rhymes: Twinkle, twinkle little bat

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are”

Do you remember the words of this nursery rhyme? It has always been one of my favourites and the first one I remember hearing as a child. There was something about it that captured my imagination. Today, the words of this nursery rhyme are imprinted on my brain and remind me of the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio, one of my favourite childhood books.

When I was 9 years old, Alice in Wonderland was my favourite book [it still is a favourite and I have a number of different copies of it]. The words of Lewis Carroll’s adaption of Twinkle twinkle little star stayed with me and is still the version I think of first.

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE BAT: A Singable Poem with Pictures and a Play on a  Classic | Film alice in wonderland, Parody songs, Alice in wonderland

I had difficult babies. They were both real ‘howlers’. Gregory cried so much I gave all my baby stuff away when he was three months old and the promised reprieve from the endless crying didn’t happen. It turned out he was a ‘six-monther’. Terence had to work hard to convince me to have another baby and then Michael turned out to be a howler too. His health issues were even more challenging and he was in hospital numerous times during his first two years of life.

But, I digress … back to nursery rhymes. I used to recite nursery rhymes to my kids while I carried them around. They howled and I recited. It kept both of us sane.

Both of my sons have good vocabularies and literacy skills and both are musical. Reading up on the useful benefits of nursery rhymes for children, I think all the reciting I did may have helped enhance these skills.

The five major benefits of nursery rhymes are as follows:

They help develop language and literacy skills:

Vintage Nursery Rhyme Print Mary Mary Quite Contrary & Fairies... | Vintage  nursery, Nursery rhymes, Children's book illustration
Remember this one – this is how I learned the word contrary. It was applied to me a lot when I was a kid.

The help develop phonemic awareness – children hear the words said and learn to pronounce them. A lot of nursery rhymes include unusual and funny words and phrases.

Pin by Charmaine Cretin on rhymes | Hey diddle diddle, Nursery rhymes, Nursery  rhymes poems

Nursery rhymes help build word memory and articulation. They are full of rhyming words and include words and groups of sounds you don’t encounter in everyday speech.

WEE WILLIE WINKIE". OLD SCOTTISH NURSERY RHYME | Nursery rhymes, Nursery  rhymes lyrics, Childrens poems

Nursery rhymes help develop creativity in children by encouraging them to imagine the scene in their heads. Just think of this one:

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
         You are,
         You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
             His nose,
             His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
             The moon,
             The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Source: The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983)

Finally, nursery rhymes teach children to listen, a very important life skill.

I am finishing off this post with a video of a recital of the poem Television by Roald Dahl. It is hilarious and epitomizes my thoughts about children and the modern trend of television and video/TV games.

About Robb,ie Cheadle


Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with seven published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

  1. Two short stories in Spellbound, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
  2. Two short stories in Spirits of the West, A Wordcrafter Western Paranormal Anthology edited by Kaye Lynne Booth;
  3. Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre;
  4. Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley;
  5. Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre; and
  6. Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

Find Robbie Cheadle



Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books

Want to be sure not to miss any of Robbie’s “Growing Bookworms” segments? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress.

56 Comments on “The joy of nursery rhymes: Twinkle, twinkle little bat”

  1. Teri Polen says:

    I’d never read about the benefits of nursery rhymes, but it makes sense. The reciting them to help keep you sane? I remember those days, lol. Great post, Robbie!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A lovely post Robbie and a reminder how special nursery rhymes are for children and adults too when babies are unsettled, teething and just want to hear their mum’s voice.. thanks Kaye for hosting..xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Sally, for reading and commenting. Nursery rhymes are special. They create memories. I remember my grandmother laying down with me at nap time and reciting nursery rhymes with me, until I fell asleep. Sometimes we would take turns reciting. Nursery rhymes are fun. And if they carry the extra added benefits which Robbie speaks of, (and they do), then that just makes them more cherishable. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • HI Sally, thank you for visiting me here. It certainly seemed to sooth everyone (babies and mom) when I recited nursery rhymes or sang to my sons. I used to do it for hours. I love nursery rhymes and they sneak into all my books. I have a Tswana lullaby (not a nursery rhyme but similar) in A Ghost and His Gold.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Nursery rhymes do have a fascinating (and often chilling) history, Robbie. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. TanGental says:

    My dad had an ott version of twinkle twinkle, no idea where it came from…
    Scintilate, scintilate globule vivivic
    Fame would I fathom thy nature’s pacific
    Airly poised in ether capacious
    Strongly resembling a gem carbinacious!
    I shall now go and google it

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:

    I am over at Writing to be Read with a post about The joy of nursery rhymes, their benefits to small children and some of my favourites. I read recently that reading nursery rhymes and rhyming verse poems as an adult can help prevent dementia which I thought was quite interesting. Thank you, Kaye Lynne Booth, for hosting me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As always, an excellent post, Robbie. Thank you for being part of the Writing to be Read team and posting here. I commented on my own memories involving nursery rhymes. My own cranky baby was sung to, usually The Beatles. Don’t know if that is any better than nursery rhymes, but it seemed to do the trick. It was the only way I got any sleep.


  6. Darlene says:

    I love nursery rhymes too and read them to my children as well. Such a great way to teach vocabulary. I recall reciting them to my little brother who was colicky. The louder he cried the louder I shouted the rhymes. I have a book about the origins of some of them which is not always pleasant.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. willedare says:

    What a lovely, inspiring post — and what a patient, loving, musical, and literary parent you were when you had small howling children! I am always happy and reassured when something we’ve been doing for centuries — such as reciting/singing nursery rhymes or eating locally-grown food — is demonstrated to be valuable and important. Thank you for sharing this information.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Toni Pike says:

    I love this article, Robbie – thank you for reminding us of just how wonderful nursery rhymes are. Toni x

    Liked by 2 people

  9. About to quote this on a post of my own tomorrow – inspiring and cheerful. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. When I was little, I was particuarly taken by “The Owl and the Pussycat,” probably because it was a longer narrative. I was very fortunate to grow up without a television. To Roald Dahl’s point, I can’t tell you how many times my mother said to my brother and me, “You must learn to amuse yourself.”

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Wonderful article, Robbie. I do hope the parents of today share the joy of nursery rhymes with their children and grandchildren. As you pointed out, they are so beneficial to the developing brain.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Dan Antion says:

    I read these so often, I only had to see where you were heading before the cadence returned to my brain. Contrary is a good word to learn.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Dan, contrary is a good word, and my mother was right, I am contrary. I like to do things my own way in life. I am glad you enjoyed the nursery rhymes. America has some of its own like Yankee Doodle [might be more of a song], that I learned from reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Frank Hubeny says:

    Very nice collection of nursery rhymes. I like Carroll’s bat version.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. memadtwo says:

    Thanks for reminding me of twinkle twinkle little bat. My house did not–still doesn’t–have a television. Of course now we have computers, but when my girls were young they and their friends always found plenty to do. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Reading with kids is Fun-damental! 🙂 Perfect post for sharing, Robbie…

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The Owl and the Pussy-Cat reminds me of my grandmother.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. […] Scrabbling for inspiration I see my blogger colleague (bloggeague?) Robbie Cheadle has a nice post on nursery rhymes where she quotes Lewis Carroll changing the words of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  18. dgkaye says:

    I totally agree with you Robbie on the benefits of nursery rhymes for children. Those variations on rhymes are hilarious. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  19. olganm says:

    Not having grown up in an English speaking country I don’t have the experience of nursery rhymes (we had songs and stories, but that is a bit different). They would be great to teach English to young children as well. Great article, Robbie.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Took me right back to my childhood and gave the adult in me a warmer heart! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Carla says:

    Great post Robbie. Nursery rhymes are so important. Years ago before memory sticks, we made CDs and DVDs with nursery rhymes to give our parents when they registered their children for Kindergarten. We could tell which parents played them and recited them with their children. There are so many benefits.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. […] Great Roald Dahl“, “Chapter Books vs. Short Stories for Children“, “The Joy of Nursery Rhymes: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Bat“, and “Incorporating Reading into Christmas Activities“. The post with the most […]


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