The One With the Waggly Tail

The One With the Waggly Tail

Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood

Written by Sarah Webb, Illustrated by Steve McCarthy

A new, beautifully illustrated collection of favourite nursery rhymes from the team that brought you Sally Go Round the Stars (short-listed, Irish Book Awards) and A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea (winner, Irish Book Awards).

Hardback: €19.99
Hardback: 64 pages
Size:280x220 mm
ISBN: 9781788491518

Category: Picture Book, Poetry

'How much is that doggie in the window —

The one with the waggly tail?’


From spiders and fleas to pirates at sea; from grasshoppers and worms to houses in trees – discover old and new favourites within these pages. The team behind the award-winning A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea has created a magical collection of the rhymes loved by children in Ireland.

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is an award-winning children’s writer. Her books include Blazing a Trail: Irish Women who Changed the World (illustrated by Lauren O’Neill) and A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea: Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood (illustrated by Steve McCarthy), both winners of Irish Book Awards.

She runs creative writing clubs for young writers, reviews children’s books for the Irish Independent, and programmes children’s and family events for book festivals and MoLI (Museum of Literature Ireland). She also works part-time in a children’s bookshop.

Passionate about bringing children and books together, Sarah was awarded the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books in Ireland.

Her latest novel for children is The Little Beekeeper of Henrietta Street (illustrated by Rachel Corcoran), set in Dubiln in 1911.

Steve McCarthy

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

Steve illustrated Sally Go Round the Stars, which was nominated for Irish Children’s Book of the Year at the Energy Irish Book Awards, and A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea, which won!

This is the third edition in this popular series and Webb returns with a diverse range of poems, songs and tongue twisters. Guaranteed to evoke strong childhood memories in some and introduce a new generation to these family favourites and some lesser known gems. McCarthy’s contemporary illustrations breathe new life into these classic rhymes. Children will delight in scouring the pages and finding hidden details in the vivid artwork. Highlights include a sumptuous spread for ‘The Connemara Cradle Song’ and a surprise guest in WB Yeats’s ‘A Cradle Song’

Children's Books Ireland

Where the poems in Webb’s new children’s collection came from tells its own story of the societal influences, spanning continents and centuries, on the Irish children who have sung and recited their words … As the collector of two previous children’s verse anthologies, Sally Go Round the Stars and A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea, one might think Sarah Webb could be running short of home-grown material, yet her latest selection of well-known and newly-composed Irish verse throws up a few surprises…readers are lulled gently through the last few pages by Padraic Colum’s The Ballad of Downal Bawn and a verse from the graceful Connemara Cradle Song. “The currachs are sailing way out on the blue, laden with herring of silvery hue. Silver the herring and silver the sea, and soon there’ll be silver for baby and me.” We can almost feel the wings of the wind beating, not least due to the atmospheric illustrations of Dublin’s Steve McCarthy in this, his third poetry collaboration with Webb

Evening Echo

An engaging book with over 60 rhymes, poems, songs and tongue twisters that children and adults will enjoy. Each page is beautifully illustrated with clear and colourful font to capture the imagination of the younger reader. The artistic illustrations is a treasure trove for children to explore and take them on a literature adventure. The book also brings the adult reader on a nostalgic journey and evokes childhood memories while introducing the younger reader to these favourite rhymes. It includes English and Irish rhymes from ‘Hot Cross Buns’ to ‘Lámh, Lámh Eile’. This fun book has many wonderful pages, it is very difficult to pick one. This book is a perfect addition to a child’s reading list, adults coffee table and any school library. It is a book to use now and treasure later

Seomra Ranga, Kyna Rushe - Teacher

Never underestimate the enchanting magic of traditional nursery rhymes. In this compilation of Irish nursery rhymes, Webb remembers old favourites, including This Old Man playing knick knack, The Spider and the Fly playing tricks on each other, and the old Irish favourite Lamh, Lamh Eile … busy, blocky, bold-coloured illustrations are the perfect accompaniment

Business Post

Gloriously illustrated collection of rhymes and jingles will resonate with parents and create new memories for the very young. Little gems of wisdom are interspersed with witty verses. A rather tiny elf puts his tormentor in his place with: ‘I’m quite as big for me’ said he As you are big for you’ There is one for everybody in the audience; trains, giants, pirates, cats, fish, skeletons, ships, the hokey-pokey, all rounded off with lines from a cradle song by W B Yeats

Irish Examiner

One to read aloud or sing along to while you feast your eyes on the gorgeous illustrations … a sheer delight featuring a range of nursery rhymes well-known verses and much-loved songs including ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’. With many familiar verses as well as delightful ones I hadn’t come across before, including the catchy counting song ‘The Pirate Song’ (see above). This marvellous collection of over eighty children’s favourites is another triumph from the dynamic and award-winning duo Sarah Webb and Steve McCarthy. The captivating illustrations add another layer of joy to this gorgeous book. Make sure to add it to your list

RTEjr’s best books for Christmas

If you’ve a child in your life aged seven and under …You’ll sing along. They’ll sing along. It’ll bring back some serious memories!

Good Luck with the Book

There is nothing more valuable on a young reader’s bookshelf than an anthology of nursery rhymes, and Sarah Webb has collected some Irish favourites in this beautifully produced book. Steve McCarthy’s bold-shaped, bright-coloured illustrations provide a visual narrative for even the most unusual and obscure rhymes. A book to treasure for years to come’

Irish Times

The style is fabulous … a beautiful book

Elaine Ryan, RTE TV’s Today Show

The third book from super-team Sarah Webb and Steve McCarthy, published by the O’Brien Press, each of them gathering well-loved rhymes from an Irish childhood ... Plenty of classic nursery rhymes can be found here and all are given a fresh lease of life with Steve McCarthy’s brilliant illustrations, tied together by the colour palette we see on the front cover. A hardback with a ribbon to hold your place, this is a perfect gift for young families and will suit children aged two to much older

Children's Books Ireland

Too many rhyming delights to choose from … rapturous illustrations … author Sarah Webb and illustrator Steve McCarthy have teamed up again to create another blissful book of illustrated verse … joyous … The One with the Waggly Tail embraces the reader with the warm familiarity of evenings spent cuddled at the hearth with the ones we cherish most

Inis Magazine

A joyful collection … beautifully illustrated … would appeal to all children as well as their parents … this book would make a wonderful addition to any school library or Irish home

Stuart Purcell, InTouch Magazine

takes readers on their own journey through well-loved nursery rhymes Dave Rudden

Irish Independent

Also by Sarah Webb:

Emma the Penguin
Sally Go Round The Stars
Animal Crackers
The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street
A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea
Blazing a Trail

Go to author page...

Also by Steve McCarthy:

A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea
Sally Go Round The Stars
Sally Go Round the Stars

Go to author page...

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