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Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook    by Shel Silverstein order for
Runny Babbit
by Shel Silverstein
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, CD

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Runny Babbit by the late Shel Silverstein is, as he called it, a billy sook. It tells the story of a babbit - sorry, rabbit - in spoonerism-sprinkled vignettes of poetry that sketch out a very unusual life.

Many of the words in Runny Babbit switch first letters, so that hangin' round becomes 'rangin' bound'. At first, reading proceeds very slowly so that the mind can adjust. As each page passes, though, the reader gets into the swing of it and it all makes a strange kind of sense.

What absolute fun! And I admire the genius of the man who developed this new language, with all the delight it produces. Verses range from 'The Funny Bamily' to 'Runny and the Pig Barade'. Silverstein's remarkable line drawings (that accompany the poetry) are also a joy.

Runny Babbit is a sure hit for young and old. I recommend that this book be placed in every doctor's waiting room, where it can produce a happier, amused patient. If you haven't discovered it yet, don't miss this delightfully 'billy sook'.

Listen to an Audio Clip at (click on Audio Excerpt).

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