Unlike Tenniel's" Alice," there is no one "definitive" version of Mother Goose. The Mother Goose rhymes, like Aesop's fables and the tales of Grimm, offer unlimited possibilities for illustration, and over the past two hundred years many artists (Rackham, Greenaway, Sendak, to name just a few) have reinterpreted the rhymes in their own fashion. James Marshall's picture books, from the eccentric "George and Martha" to the charming" Carrot Nose," have all exhibited a highly personal comic style. So it's no surprise that, for his first encounter with Mother Goose, Marshall has chosen only those rhymes which appeal to his sense of humor — some among the most popular verses, others not so well know. Here are classic characters like Old King Cole and Peter, Peter, re-created with a lively touch. Here too, are Poll Parrot and Elsie Marley, as silly as can be. Any illustrated collection of Mother Goose must inevitably be a collaboration between the interpretive artist and the unknown authors of the rhymes themselves. This time out, the Old Dame's genius for timeless nonsense is happily matched by a gifted American illustrator who outdoes himself in her honor. Enter Mother Goose — a fresh and funny look.