Olive Us: Nursery Rhymes

February 20, 2014

Text and photos by Gabrielle.

I’ve got another episode of Olive Us to share with you today. It’s called Nursery Rhymes and it’s a charmer! It features a collection of animal masks that we amassed while we lived in France — and that happily hang in our Oakland playroom today.

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Masks like these, in dozens of variations, are available at toy shops throughout France, and I found them irresistible. Though our visitors sometimes had differing reactions — some friends found the masks creepy as can be. Hah!

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The masks are so distinctive, that we thought it would be fun to use them in an episode — and nursery rhymes turned out to be a perfect fit. It was fun to come up with a list of which rhymes we would feature — and work in a few fairytale references too — like The Three Bears.

Enjoy the episode! I love how this one turned out. I’d love to know: What’s your reaction to the masks? Lovely or scary? And do you have a favorite nursery rhyme?

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P.S. — Would you like to know more about Olive Us? Here you go:

- Find the official Olive Us website here, and subscribe to the Olive Us Newsletter here.
- Find all the posts I’ve written about Olive Us — including every episode — here.
- We’ve made 44 episodes so far and collaborated with ulive on 20 of them! You can find the Olive Us page on ulive here.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brimful February 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Aww, this video is charming! I think the masks are their own would be slightly creepy…but the Blair Six make them cute :).


2 Rikki February 20, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Charming as can be! Might be my favorite yet!


3 Tamara February 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm

I love the masks. Delightful! My kids are already asking for some.

Our favorite nursery rhyme is Mary had a little lamb. We replace Mary with our names. My kids feel like the song was made just for them.


4 Jocelyn February 20, 2014 at 10:55 pm

So charming! I love the girls’ pigtails coming out from the masks. Can’t wait to show this to my kiddos. Oh, and I can totally see both sides of the mask debate. Very cool but could also be a bit creepy without being worn.


5 Elizabeth Aquino February 21, 2014 at 12:36 am

This might be one of my favorites. I think there’s something weird in the best way about nursery rhymes, and with the masks — well — it’s perfect. You’ve managed to make it both charming and surprising!


6 Janet February 21, 2014 at 7:00 am

Loved this episode! The masks are so adorable and so are the sweet nursery rhymes. So fun!


7 Jen February 21, 2014 at 9:00 am

I feel bad admitting that I find them to be creepy. Coupled with the weird, sphinx-like nature of nursery rhymes, I think with a little bit of editing you guys could have your own Olive Us: Nursery Rhymes recut as a horror movie ala this:


XO ;)


8 Amy3 February 21, 2014 at 9:33 am

In the context of the kids in a beautiful, summery setting, the masks didn’t bother me. On their own, though, or in a different context they’re creepy, horror movie stuff (sorry!).


9 Michelle February 21, 2014 at 10:25 am

I love this! The colors, the editing. It feels very Wes Anderson to me.


10 julia g blair February 21, 2014 at 11:21 am

The masks are adorable. Interesting that they’re so popular in France.
What do children there do with them. I think nursery rhymes are perfect.


11 Anon February 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Loved the nursery rhymes, but I found the masks so creepy! I almost couldn’t watch until the end!


12 Ann February 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

I liked the masks and they reminded me of Wes Andersen!


13 Julie February 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm

This is the stuff of nightmares. Terrifying. Your kids are cute. The masks are too reminiscent of the bad Liv Tyler film, The Strangers.


14 rebecca March 2, 2014 at 11:08 pm

i think the masks are great! many years ago, my husband and i went as marcel dzama creatures for halloween. (http://www.liftingfaces.com/2008/09/the-root-beer-stick-up/) we had a lion mask and a kitty mask and fancily-dressed bodies. right around this time that the band goldfrapp came out with their album black cherry. (http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=249609) and it seemed like there was a bit of an animal/human thing going on. a few years later, i received 6 more animal masks to add to the collection. (http://rebbermade.blogspot.com/2011/03/winters-expense-winters-earnings.html) we keep them on the wall in the dining room, but they come down on occasion when someone needs a change of face. it’s fun to see which ones get picked at any given time. :) i love these masks and yours too!


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