Runny Babbit Returns

Shel Silverstein. Harper, $19.99 (96p) ISBN 978-0-06-247939-6
Turns out there were more “completed but unassembled” spoonerism poems and accompanying b&w line drawings in the Silverstein vault. Hence, this follow-up to 2005’s posthumous “billy sook,” Runny Babbit. Through 41 short verses, readers follow the eponymous rabbit—whose floppy ears are complemented by a perpetual look of surprise—back into the woods for tongue-twisting adventures and encounters. Some poems feel like a silly exaggeration of kid life: Runny Babbit loves “nuttered boodles” so much that he marries them (“You may biss the kride” says the officiant). Others speak to a growing sense of agency, as when he puts a caged “lighty mion” in his place (“ ‘And what are you, you shrittle limp?’/ And Runny answered, ‘Free.’ ”). There’s even a pretty good flatulence spoonerism, courtesy of a “dire-breathin’ fragon” (“If I’m inpited to your varty,/ Then I’ll fart your stire for you”). A little of this may go a long way with adult readers, but it’s the kind of comedy that can will have kids riding the giggle express—with stops for nuttered boodles, of course. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/10/2017
Release date: 09/19/2017
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 96 pages - 978-0-06-247985-3
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