Great Illustrated Books

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

By Shel Silverstein

HarperCollins, 2005
Pages : 96
Suggested Ages: 7 and Up
ISBN: 9780060256531

Fut a whunny bew nook! There are tworty-foo feally runny pyming rhoems about Runny Babbit and pots of his lals in this bazy crook. Didn't understand those last sentences? They are filled with Spoonerisms, where consonants are switched for pairs of words. Or, as the introductory poem says, "If you say, 'Let's bead a rook/ That's billy as can se,'/ You're talking Runny Babbit talk/ Just like mim and he." Published posthumously (Silverstein worked on these poems for over 20 years; he died in 1999), this collection looks like his other classic volumes, with a white cover, creamy pages, and his familiar black line drawings accompanying every poem. Your straight talkers will be flummoxed by some of these cheerful poems, but once they realize they can just unjuggle the consonants, they’ll be laughing like crazy.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Hirsch, Robin. FEG: Ridiculous Poems for Intelligent Children. Little, Brown, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-0316363440

Silverstein, Shel. Falling Up. HarperCollins, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0060248024

Silverstein, Shel. A Light in the Attic. HarperCollins, 1981. ISBN-13: 978-0060256739

Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends. HarperCollins, 1974. ISBN-13: 978-0060256678

Critics have said

"Children who have some fluency in reading will enjoy this bonsensical nook the most."
Karin Snelson,

"Children will love these clever poems and without prompting will probably create their own, unaware that they are focusing on a key reading skill: phonemic awareness. This is a treasure."
Lee Bock, School Library Journal

"Zany pen-and-ink drawings work in tandem with the poems to maximize the laughs."
Child Magazine

"Like the humor, the simple line drawings accompanying each poem are vintage Silverstein-so, gip, don't sulp, and enjoy this unexpected lagniappe from one of the greats."
Kirkus Reviews