A Silly Shook to Bare

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein

He’s written songs for Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, won two Grammy Awards, written several plays and co-written a film with David Mamet. And..oh yeah, he’s a guitar player, Oscar and Golden Globe nominated songwriter, cartoonist, performer AND celebrated children’s book author and poet.

Author of The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein has been making us laugh from as far back as 1963 when his first children’s book Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back was published. He continues to do so even after his death in 1999 with this posthumous work published in 2005.

Runny Babbit and his pals inhabit the green woods where the language is a bit wacky – phonemes are flip-flopped. Runny tells his friends, “I feel so glad and soomy. I need some kugs and hisses.” But when Polly Dorkupine offers to oblige him, Runny responds, “Well, I’ll kake the tiss, But never hind the mug.”

Whether Runny’s being scolded for lelling ties, or hutting his own cair or giving us rittle leminders such as “Don’t Balk Tack”, “Phet Off the Gone”, or “Nop That Stow,” his antics keep us laughing. Of the 42 poems, “Runny on Rount Mushmore” is a personal favorite.

Even kids who may be more inclined to read alone will relish the humor in reading this book aloud.  Translating the poems is not only fun, it’s bound to boost language fluency.

This is a book you’ll shant to ware.

Photo courtesy of Tomi Tapio

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