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?

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Posted on October 21, 2013, in Alice in Wonderland, Waffle and Nonsense and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I have a collection of Alice books that I really don’t have room for any more, so should I ever make it to Sydney, they will probably be in my bag ready to hand them over to you!

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