Mother Goose and Her Friends Mother Goose and Her Friends
About Mary Jane Haley

About Mary Jane Haley

Story Telling Programs

Story Telling Programs



Program Reviews


Booking Information

Booking Information

Frequently Asked Questions



Mary Jane Haley has been delighting children with her dynamic storytelling programs for more than fifteen years.   Her many appearances throughout the Chicagoland area have drawn rave reviews and a devoted following among educators, parents, and the thousands of children who have participated in her programs.

Presented, below, are letters of recommendation which have been written about Mary Jane over the years.

Oak Elementary School
Hinsdale, Illinois

I just wanted to tell you how much my kindergarten classes and I enjoyed your Mother Nature presentation. The children loved dressing up and helping you tell stories about the world around us. Their enthusiasm and excitement was a joy to see.

I used your visit as the beginning of our ecology studies which included Earth Day, recycling, and planting a tree for Arbor Day. Your presentation set the stage for more in-depth discussions and activities about respecting the Earth and its natural resources. We read the books "I Like Trees" and "Trees" as a follow up to one of your dramatizations. Each child created their own frame book about the different fruits and nuts that we get from trees. We did math activities, journaling, and art projects that all focused on the beauty of the earth and ways kindergartners could help preserve our wonderful planet home.

As a culminating activity, we planted a tree, on Arbor Day, in honor of our kindergarten classes. The children will be able to watch this tree grow as they progress through the grades at Oak School. I believe that your presentation helped to make all of these experiences more meaningful for the children because they were able to meet Mother Nature.

Christina Stansbury
Kindergarten Teacher

Marquette Manor Baptist Academy
Preschool & Childcare Center
Downers Grove, Illinois

Mother Goose is a delight to all who behold her warm and friendly countenance. Her reputation precedes her at Marquette Manor. Each year, the children anxiously await her coming.

Mary Jane has a stage presence that totally encapsulates the children. It is as if she walked right out of the pages of a storybook and into the children's hearts. As each child watches, the world of nursery rhymes unfolds before their eyes. Many children become the personal helpers of Mother Goose as they themselves are transformed into characters of many beloved nursery rhymes.

The program varies from year to year, but the excitement never stops. Children are actively involved in the world of traditional, wholesome literature.

Marquette Manor Baptist Academy

Buffalo Grove Park District
Buffalo Grove, Illinois

Mary Jane Haley (aka Mother Goose) has been entertaining and educating children and parents at the Buffalo Grove Park District for 10 years. As an educator, she understands the importance of rhythm and rhyming in early literacy. As a performer, she keeps children as young as two years old engaged and participating in Nursery Rhymes. She helps parents understand the huge step that children must take in order to come up and wear a simple costume for a rhyme.

Mother Goose is engaging, entertaining, and educational, and I would highly recommend her for any program for preschool through early elementary aged children.

Martha Westerberg
Recreation Supervisor
Buffalo Grove Park District

Niles North High School
Skokie, Illinois

Wow! I don't know which of my students were more mesmerized by our recent Mother Goose presentation!

The preschoolers are still asking when she will stop by again, and the high school students are incorporating the tips they picked up into their storytelling lesson plans. The tape of the presentation has already supplied us with a wonderful classroom resource for our Child Development classes.

I highly recommend taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Thank you Mary Jane for demonstrating techniques that are best practice for our students and enriching the literary lives of our preschoolers.

Debora J. Meyer
Family and Consumer Science Teacher

Technology Center of DuPage
Addison, Illinois

Mary Jane Haley has been a great attribute to our Early Childhood Class! Her enthusiasm and passion for reading and storytelling have left our students with a new desire to do story circle.

They have learned to be creative, to be prepared, and to be confident when working with young children.

We are so thankful to have her as one of guest speakers!

Marge Downs & Jeanne Beauchamp
Early Childhood Education Instructors

Grove Children's Preschool
Downers Grove, Illinois

I highly recommend having Mary Jane Haley visit your preschool / kindergarten. We love having her tell her nursery rhymes to the children, and they love to hear them and be a part of them. She will leave your school with a great memory, and she will be a dear friend.

Sandy Biddenstadt
Parent Coordinator

Fountaindale Public Library District
Bolingbrook, IL and Romeoville, IL

Hi Mary Jane - here are some comments from the staff and audience members who saw your shows in Bolingbrook and Romeoville:

-- The storyteller was wonderful!
-- It was great fun.  The children loved wearing their costumes.
-- Hire her again soon!
-- Mary Jane's experience as a former teacher and librarian is reflected well in her program.
-- Great job!  Perfect for the kids.

What more can we add other than "thank you" for your splendid Halloween program!

Happy storytelling!

Katie Mooney and Niki Kranich
Fountaindale Public Library District

Fremd High Shool
Palatine, Illinois

At Fremd High School, we have Mary Jane Haley come out twice a year, and it is well worth it.  In the fall, she comes to speak to our child development classes.  She presents a 45 minute workshop to each class on the art of storytelling.  Mary Jane gives the students some tips on storytelling and then demonstrates several of her stories.  It is an engaging experience for the high school students. Our students are required to do storytelling during their experience in preschool lab.  We find that it is an extremely important part of child development. Mary Jane is an expert who provides the students with great knowledge.

We also have Mary Jane come back in the spring to do a workshop for our pre-schoolers.   At that time, she dresses up as Mother Goose and tells stories to our 3-5 year olds. The children absolutely love it.  It is an extremely valuable experience.

We would love to have Mary Jane come do both workshops every year.  She is worth her weight in gold!

Suzanne Bohrnell
Fremd High School

Sandbox Early Learning Center
Orland Park / Palos Hills / Homer Township

The smiling faces and laughing voices of the pre-schoolers at The Sandox Early Learning Centers were definitely outward signs of gleeful approval as the students watched the Mother Goose story hour.

All eyes were trained on Mary Jane as she waltzed into the room very authentically dressed as Mother Goose. The presentation had all the elements of a developmentally appropriate show for children, ages three through five. Mary Jane's voice was clear and audible, and the fun-filled imaginative program held the attention of the group as the show moved along with loads of audience participation, props, and clever puppetry. Mary Jane managed to delightfully portray Mother Goose and has entertained another generation of faithful followers.

What a wonderful celebration at the Sandox - the 100th birthday of Mother Goose!

Beverly Avery (Teacher)
The Sandbox Early Learning Center

Franklin Park Public Schools
Franklin Park, Illinois

Mrs. Haley has been entertaining my preschool students and kindergarten students for the last four springs at North Elementary School.

Her performance is lively, as she skillfully captures the attention of the young students. Through the use of puppetry and role playing of nursery rhymes, Mrs. Haley gets her audience very involved. The children love being part of the nursery rhymes as she dresses them up and gets them using props. The children and parents in the audience are encouraged to participate in many engaging ways, as well.

The subject and length of the program is very appropriate. Mary Jane's lively and creative style is delightful! Children, parents, and teachers have enjoyed her performances. Through her performances, she keeps the wonderful tradition of nursery rhymes alive.

Jackie Fricke (Principal)
North Elementary School

Messiah Lutheran Child Care Center
Park Ridge, Illinois

We have had Mary Jane Haley entertain at our school on four occasions over the past several years. Her Mother Goose program has been extremely entertaining and appropriate for our school's children. They have enjoyed her Mother Goose character, her staging of the familiar nursery rhymes, and the opportunity to participate in her presentation.

Mary Jane holds the children's attention throughout the program with a comfortable continuity of recognizable rhymes and visually appealing props. She speaks politely and directly with her audience and has age-appropriate techniques for managing the group as they anxiously and excitedly await their chance to join the activities.

We certainly plan to have Mother Goose visit us in the future and would highly recommend her to anyone that would be interested in a pleasurable, engaging program for children.

Karen Black (Director)
Messiah Lutheran Child Care Center

Pietrini Elementary School
Franklin Park, Illinois

Mrs. Haley has visited the schools in Franklin Park District 84 many times. She is a regular performer at our kindergarten orientation and has been invited to work with our early childhood children with special needs. In both capacities, she has surpassed all expectations, both personally and professionally. As a "teaching entertainer" of young children, she is simply perfect.

Finally, Mary Jane's exceptional talent, combined with her innate sense of teaching and developmental levels of children, make her a superb storyteller. Children ask for her by name year after year, which should serve as her highest level of recommendation. We are thrilled to have found such a gifted individual to visit our schools on a regular basis.

Nina McCabe (Principal)
Pietrini Elementary School

The Avery Coonley School
Early Childhood Program
Downers Grove, Illinois

For several years now we have been privileged to have Mary Jane Haley, alias Mother Goose, present her delightful program to our students.  What a more appropriate subject matter than nursery rhymes!  Mary Jane's program encourages children to both imagine and participate while they look at, listen to, and touch the many props that accompany her storytelling.

Mary Jane has an excellent presentation and is able to keep the attention of her audience as she moves quickly from one story to another.  She physically involves the children in each story that she tells.  I would highly recommend her program to anyone working with children three to fives years of age.  Keep up the good work, Mary Jane!

Susie Purser (Teacher)
The Avery Coonley School

Downers Grove South High School
Downers Grove, Illinois

Mary Jane Haley was a presenter for our Parenting and Child Development classes this year for the first time.  I consider Many Jane's presentation a valuable find and a great addition to our curriculum and competition preparation.  For her presentation, Mary Jane presented several stories providing a variety of storytelling techniques.  Although her stories are most often told to those much younger than her teenage audience, Mary Jane captivated and entertained the teenagers.  Before and after each story, Mary Jane would discuss with the students her storytelling technique, how to develop the technique, and pointers that all good storytellers should know.

FCCLA has a regional and state storytelling competition.  Mary Jane's skills and expertise provide a vital asset to our youth as they learn and prepare for this competition.  I would like to expand Mary Jane's role from guest speaker to guest speaker and coach of our students.  She would make a fine mentor for our teens.

I encourage all FACS teachers involved in Child Development classes to invite Mary Jane into your classroom and get to know her as a resource for your students.

Valerie L. Moses-Shaw
Applied Arts and Department Chairperson
Downers Grove South High School

Thomas Hughes Children's Library
Chicago, Illinois

I am very pleased to recommend the program "Mother Goose and Her Friends", performed by Mary Jane Haley. This program was offered for the second time at the Thomas Hughes Children's Library on Saturday, January 18th. Despite a week of enduring bitter cold, over eighty adults and children came and stayed through the program. They were enchanted by Mary Jane, who appears in traditional Mother Goose garb and uses a variety of props and handpuppets to illustrate selections from Mother Goose.

Mary Jane quickly engaged the audience in the nursery rhymes through hand movements, chanting, singing, and creative dramatics. She managed her transitions smoothly from one rhyme to the next. Mary Jane had great rapport with the children, in a very sweet way exercised crowd control, and interjected enough humor to keep the adults interested. Best of all, the program left you wanting more.

Mary Jane is a great model for parents on ways to share Mother Goose rhymes with their children at home. Nothing she does is glitzy or hard to replicate, but she shows that simplicity can be very special.

Laura Culberg (Head)
Thomas Hughes Children's Library

Hawthorn Kindergarten District 73
Vernon Hills, Illinois

Mother Goose's nursery rhyme presentation has become an annual tradition at Mundelein #75 Jumpstart and Hawthorn #73 Pre-Kindergarten. Parents and staff appreciate Mary Jane Haley's soft-spoken manner and the rapport she maintains with the students. The Mother Goose visuals, puppets, and props are outstanding, and the children thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to take part in the individual nursery rhymes.

As teachers, our staff appreciates the message that Mary Jane shares with our families regarding literacy and the importance of reading/sharing nursery rhymes with children.

As a representative from both Mundelein #75 and Hawthorn #73, I can highly recommend Mary Jane Haley's Mother Goose presentation. Our families and staff look forward to her visit each year and consider Mother Goose an integral part of our family programming.

Diane Motley (Parent Coordinator)
Hawthorn Kindergarten District 73

Indian Trail School
Downers Grove, Illinois

The Grove Children Preschool at Indian Trail Elementary School in Downers Grove District 58 has enjoyed Mother Goose and Her Friends year after year. This is the perfect assembly for preschool and kindergarten age students. It is interactive with volunteers from the audience, which the children truly enjoy. Mother Goose (Mary Jane Haley) is always organized in her set up, prompt in her arrival, and has a great rapport and control with the children. She uses chants, motions, and songs to hold the children's attention.

I would recommend any preschool and kindergarten age classrooms to include this program as part of their curriculum. The program is delightful!

Annette Bonfield (Pre-K / Special Ed Teacher)
Indian Trail School

Prospect School
Clarendon Hills, Illinois

I am writing to highly praise the Mother Goose and Her Friends performance which Mary Jane Haley has presented to our kindergartners. Our Illinois Standards require that children learn nursery rhymes, and Mary Jane provides an imaginative and entertaining way for us to expose them.

I would recommend Mary Jane's Mother Goose performance to any group who is looking for an engaging, fun-filled way to bring nursery rhymes alive.

Pam Henry (Kindergarten Teacher)
Prospect School

Andrew High School
Tinley Park, Illinois

I have had the pleasure of having Mary Jane Haley to Andrew High School to present "Mother Goose and Her Friends" numerous times.  She has presented her program to preschool children, high school students, and parents.  Each time that she has done her presentation, audience members have complimented me on the program.  Her program is very creative, and she is an excellent storyteller.  The preschool children are enthusiastic about the opportunity to be involved in her nursery rhymes.  In addition, Mary Jane has been a great role model to my high school students.  They see that when a storyteller is creative and enthusiastic, you can increase the children's attention span.  They also have learned how important it is to have the children be involved in the storytelling activity.

Here at Andrew Preschool, we now incorporate Mother Goose's nursery rhymes into our curriculum.  I would highly recommend that other schools invite Mary Jane to be a part of their program.

Sue Matiya (Early Childhood Education Teacher)
Andrew High School


Mother Goose and Her Friends

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