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Runny Babbit CD: A Billy Sook [Audio]
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About the Author

Shel Silverstein 's incomparable career as a bestselling children's book author and illustrator began with Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. He is also the creator of picture books including A Giraffe and a Half, Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?, The Missing Piece, The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, and the perennial favorite The Giving Tree, as well as classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Every Thing On It, Don't Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit. Dennis Locorriere is the former lead singer of the pop band Doctor Hook and the Medicine Show. His own shows have always featured Shel Silverstein's songs and he was Shel's choice to perform "The Devil and Billy Markham" at the Lincoln Center in 1989.

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Gr 2-8-The format is similar to Silverstein's earlier collections, but these poems, focusing on a young rabbit, are written in spoonerisms, phonemic wordplay in which the first sounds in one or more pair of words are swapped. Runny's interactions with friends and family and his mischievous escapades are detailed in contagious nonsensical verse that begs to be mimicked. Audio version available from HarperAudio. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In what may be the definitive book of letter-reversal wordplay, late author-illustrator Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends) composes poems about cottontail Runny Babbit. He illustrates the verse in his signature devil-may-care ink line on bare white pages, and performs letter switcheroos to the point of reader exhaustion. An introductory poem explains the technique: "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." The exchange of consonants results in a new language, producing Lewis Carroll nonsense or placing familiar words in skewed contexts; for instance, Runny's family includes "A sother and two bristers,/ A dummy and a mad," which says a lot about parents. Runny also has an untidy porcine friend, leading him to sing a serenade with an Edward Learish zest and a classic Silverstein twist at the end, "Oh Ploppy Sig, oh pessy mig,/ Oh dilthy firty swine,/ Whoever thought your room would be/ As mig a bess as mine?" Signs posted on Runny's wall remind him, "tick up your poys," "peed your fet" and "bon't delch"; a restaurant serves "dot hogs" and "boast reef." Silverstein also revises ditties such as "Dankee Yoodle" and runs roughshod over politeness ("Stand back! I'm Killy the Bid,/ And I'm fookin' for a light!"). Move over Hinky-Pink: this is sure to become the new classroom wordgame favorite. Silverstein's many fans will snap up this extended set of more than 40 puzzlepoems. All ages. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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