My favourite children’s (nonsense) books
A friend of mine is having a baby; a baby which will no doubt be read many, many books during its childhood as its mother is an Auditory-Verbal Therapist. I was discussing my favourite children’s books with her today (the mother, not the baby). I took in my old and fox-marked copy of The Scroobious Pip by Edward Lear. ‘Can you still get it?’ she asked me. I envisage some searching of ebay ahead.
It got me thinking about some of my favourite nonsense books. I decided to write her a list and here it is.
- The Scroobious Pip, Edward Lear, Completed by Ogden Nash. Illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, 1968. A delightfully nonsensical tale of The Scroobious Pip and the only book I know to feature the word ‘buzztilential’ – a cracker of a word if ever I heard one.
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll, 1865. (I’m sure none of you guessed this one would be on my list!)
- The Pobble Who Has No Toes, Edward Lear, Illustrated by Kevin W Maddison. First published in 1877, my copy is from 1978 and it’s showing it’s age with the dust jacket stickytaped back together in places. I think they should stop calling them dust jackets. Rip jacks would be far more accurate!
- The Quangle Wangle’s Hat, Edward Lear, 1876.
- The Jumblies, Edward Lear, 1863
- The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits, Lewis Carroll, 1874
and just in case you thought all my favourites were written in the 19th century:
- The Tin Forest, Helen Ward (Author) and Wayne Anderson (Illustrator), 2001. Not really nonsense but a children’s book just the same. I just love Wayne Anderson’s illustrations.
- The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery, 1945. A true classic that continues to delightful many well into adulthood.
- The Tale of Custard the Dragon, Ogden Nash, 1936. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger 1995. The story of Belinda and her realio, trulio but cowardly dragon called Custard. Personally I think any animal named after food has got to be good!
- Jeepers Creepers: A monstrous ABC, Laura Leuck and David Parkins (Illustrator), 2003. A delightfully dark take on the traditional A is for Apple. Of these 26 monsters, it’s hard to pick a favourite, so I give you E through H: “Ed’s hair smells like Sauerkraut, Freddy’s two front fangs fell out, Gert wears crawdads in her ears, Hal’s head often disappears.” The illustrations are wonderfully wacky.
- Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein, 1974
- It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles, Jack Prelutsky, 1993
- My Dog May Be A Genius, Jack Prelutsky, 2008
- The Sticky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith, 1992. It’s odd and quirky. There’s nothing else to say on the subject.
- Grimericks, Susan Pearson, Illustrated by Gris Grimly (of Boris and Bella fame), 1992.
- Revolting Rhymes, Roald Dahl, 1982. No nonsense book list would be complete without a little Dahl!
What’s your favourite nonsense book?
Posted on October 21, 2013, in Alice in Wonderland, Waffle and Nonsense and tagged Edward Lear, Hunting of the Snark, Little Prince, Nonsense poems, Nonsense Verse, Ogden Nash, Pobble Who Has No Toes, Scroobious Pip, Tin Forest. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.