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Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook

( 26 )

Overview

From the legendary creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and The Giving Tree comes an unforgettable new character in children's literature.

Runny Babbit lent to wunch
And heard the saitress way,
"We have ...

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Overview

From the legendary creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and The Giving Tree comes an unforgettable new character in children's literature.

Runny Babbit lent to wunch
And heard the saitress way,
"We have some lovely stabbit rew—
Our Special for today."

Welcome to the world of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, and many others who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own.

So if you say, "Let's bead a rook
That's billy as can se,"
You're talkin' Runny Babbit talk,
Just like mim and he.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Winner of the 2005 Quill Book Awards - Children's Illustrated Book Category

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"Runny Babbit lent to wunch / And heard the saitress way, / 'We have some lovely stabbit rew-- / Our special for today.' " Shel Silverstein's slightly askew sabbit raga leads children quickly down a cascading road of giggles as the author of Where the Sidewalk Ends introduces readers to a host of new characters: Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, and, of course, Runny Babbit himself.
Washington Post Book World
“Potential yook of the bear.”
From The Critics
In case the title hasn't clued you in, this is indeed a silly book about a bunny rabbit. Flip-flopped consonants add to the loony, never-before-published poems of the late, legendary Silverstein. In "Runny Bakes a Tath," the eponymous hero was so hungry "he chewed his dubber rucky up,/He gulped boap subbles, too./But what upset his mamma most/Was shrinking the dampoo." Zany pen-and-ink drawings work in tandem with the poems to maximize the laughs. (ages 6 to 8)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2005
Publishers Weekly
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.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-8-Forty-two of Shel Silverstein's poems from his best-selling book (HarperCollins, 2005), published posthumously, are performed by Dennis Locorriere. The poems are spoonerisms-the initial sounds of two words are transposed, so "Bunny Rabbit" become "Runny Babbit." The poems beg to be read aloud and Locorriere, who has performed Silverstein's poems in the past, has the perfect speed, pitch, and voice range to deliver these silly poems. The wordplay and rhymes will tickle listeners' funny bones. Kids may even be inspired to write their own spoonerisms after listening to this delightful CD. Schools will find this useful as a perfect example of this unusual form of poetry. Children and adults will be entertained by this humorous collection. A gem.-Marilyn Hersh, Hillside Elementary School, Farmington Hills, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Described as "a work in progress for over twenty years," this posthumous gathering of new verses and line drawings plays too long on a single trope, but makes a real knee-slapper in small doses. Most of the 42 entries star flop-eared Runny Babbit (with occasional appearances from Toe Jurtle, Ramma Mabbit, Ploppy Sig and similar fellow travelers) in various misadventures: A "Dungry Hog" teaches him to "trimb a clee" for instance, in the bath, "He chewed his dubber rucky up, / He gulped boap subbles too. / But what upset his Mamma most / Was shrinking the dampoo," and "Runny be quimble / Runny be nick, / Runny cump over the jandlestick. / But now-what smells like furning bluff? / Guess he didn't hump jigh enough." 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. (Poetry. 7-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060256531
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/15/2005
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 34,788
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 8.37 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Shel Silverstein

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.

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.

Biography

If there is such a thing as a "bad boy of children's literature," it would have to be Shel Silverstein. Though often compared to Dr. Seuss for his ability to blend humor and nonsense into irresistible rhymes, Silverstein also ventured into macabre territory that the good Doctor wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot Sneetch. Silverstein broached such unsavory topics as nose-picking, the consumption of children, and winds so strong they could decapitate a man right out from under his hat.

It's a testament to Silverstein's abilities as a cartoonist and storyteller that he was able to endow such subjects with just the right silliness and humor, endearing him to both children and adults. In collections such as the classic Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up, Silverstein makes poems into page-turners -- aided in no small part by his grungy, whimsical black-and-white drawings. He also displays a tenderhearted understanding for kids' fears and peccadilloes; one poem in A Light in the Attic, for example, all but endorses nailbiting: "It's a nasty habit, but ... I have never ever scratched a single soul."

A lifelong writer and illustrator, Silverstein had been a cartoonist for an army newspaper in Korea in the 1950s, and then a contributor to magazines. Like many succesful writers for children, Silverstein never planned to author children's books. Ironically, his first attempt at the genre -- the book that established the one-time Playboy cartoonist as a school library fixture -- is something of an anomaly in his ouevre: The Giving Tree. This bittersweet story of a tree that ultimately sacrifices itself -- down to the stump -- to the boy she loves over the course of his life was initially rejected by Silverstein's editor. Of course, it has gone on to be a great, if sentimental, success. But it was Where the Sidewalk Ends, Silverstein's straightforward collection of crooked poems, that cemented his place as a must-read for the young and young at heart. Silverstein bristled at comparisons to fellow "nonsense poet" Edward Lear, preferring instead to cite his former teacher, Robert Cosbey, as an influence.

It's worth looking at some of Silverstein's less well-known picture books, such as Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? and Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back, as examples of how funny (and how subversive) Silverstein could be. In Lafcadio, the ultimate anti-hunting story, a lion learns to become such a good marksman that he provides "hunter rugs" for his fellow lions and ends up touring as a celebrity. Lafcadio soon gets bored with his opulent life, and what used to be thrilling no longer is: "This morning I went up and down in the elevator 1,423 times," he cries at one point. "IT'S OLD STUFF!"

In later years, Silverstein turned more attention to dramatic writing. Titles such as The Lady and the Tiger, Wild Life and The Devil and Billy Markham were produced with varying degrees of success, and some are still being staged by small theater groups. Silverstein also wrote a well-received screenplay, Things Change, with pal David Mamet in 1988.

Still, Silverstein's poetry is what remains his most popular contribution. His verse gave kids permission to be a little grown-up for a while, and (just as importantly) let adults experience the not-always-simple perspective of children.

Good To Know

Silverstein was a soldier in the U.S. Army in Japan and Korea in the '50s and drew cartoons for Stars and Stripes, the American military publication. His next cartooning gig was for Playboy.

Silverstein wrote several songs. His country-western song "A Boy Named Sue" was a hit for Johnny Cash in 1969. His song for Postcards From the Edge, "I'm Checkin' Out," was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Sheldon Allan Silverstein (full name)
      Shel Silverstein
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 25, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      May 10, 1999
    2. Place of Death:
      Key West, Florida

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2011

    I give it Stive Fars!

    I liked the book Runny Babbit. It was very funny because the author made up a language called Runny Language. If the words were high five he would write it as figh hive. It was fun to figure out the words and funny that you could understand the poem even if the words were spelled different.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    A favorite we've grown up with

    I bought this book for my son when he was a toddler, and now as 9 year old, he still loves to read thru "Runny Babbit" and contemplate the brilliant play on words and turn of phrases. It stimulates imagination and wit for adults as well. I now love to give this book as a present to others with young ones.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2006

    Excellent book - both you & your children will love!

    I bought this book for my daughter this Christmas. We absolutely love it. We read the stories over & over. The funny thing is, no matter how many times you read it, you'll get tongue-tied. My daughter says she will reward me if I can read it with out making a mistake, it never works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2005

    Loved It!

    This book is as much fun to read as it is to listen to! Just make sure you read it to yourself (well!) before reading to your students, or you'll never finish it for all the laughing! Really puts a smile on faces, young and old!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2005

    You'll laugh all the way through this one!

    If you're a lover of Shel Silverstein's work, you'll adore this book. What a dure pelight it is! I bought this book to give one of my grandsons for bis hirthday. It's a couple months away. He may never get it...or I'll have to buy a second copy and keep this one mor fe. The drawings alone are worth the price of the book...and the characters, oh my. There's Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, Ploppy Sig, Polly Dorkupine, and Pilly Belican, all of whom hip trappily through bis thook. Oh stop it, Carolyn! I am a silly gittle lirl Who dines on choldy meese It gives me really brinky steath And makes my snandma greeze. Sorry, Can't help it. Enjoy bis thook. It's feally run! Carolyn Howe Rill

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2005

    Runny Babbit Socks my Rocks!

    I love the Runny Babbit language. I searned how to leak it. It is fumurous and hunny, and I cove the laracters. You too can learn Runny Babbit talk, just bet this gook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2005

    A wonderful, billy sook

    My seven-year old loves this book! It has the appeal of total silliness plus the challenge of trying to figure out the correct words. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2005

    We love Shel!!

    Silliness, irreverence, truths, groaners, wricky tord play . . .how can anyone of any age resist Shel Silverstein? My kids and I are sooo glad that all these funny gems were gathered together for us to enjoy. What a treat to get more Shel all these years after his death.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2005

    Teachers!

    This book is a kindergarten teacher's dream come true!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    A treasured author

    This is fun to read, super attractive to children and a fun challenge to parent readers making it a great gifts-4 to 7

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2013

    This book gives me a headache... but it also makes me laugh out

    This book gives me a headache... but it also makes me laugh out loud, over and over.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    The book is called Runny Babbit. I thought the book was really funny. I would tell you to read this book. It is difficult because if there is two words the first letters would be in the opposite word. Some poems I don't understand. Some poems I didn't like. For example Runnys Rittle Leminder. My favorite is Runny The Ficken Charmer. That is how the book is to me

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    Strange but good-

    I love this author and read his books when I was small and read these books to my children. I heard that this is the book that was found in Silversteen's office after he passed away. It is a very strange book and it is unbelievable that you can even read this book. The orders of the letters are confused but it is still easy to read, I am not sure how. This is a cute book, not poems like some of his others books this is one story. I had to read this one because I love the author but this is a strange one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

    One of the books your children will remember when they are grown!

    My children loved Shel Silverstein's works and they were true incentives for reading. I am now sending them to Australia to my god-daughter's young children and so history repeats itself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2009

    A very cute and smart book in which parents can enjoy while reading to, or listening to their child read.

    A book like Runny Babbit makes the young reader's brain work to figure out the real meaning in each line. It's lots of fun to read and makes everyone smile inside no matter what your age. Shel Silverstein's books are all great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2005

    BEWARE

    To read this book you have to understand the language of Shel Silverstein even though he is not alive to explain it sadly. You can easily get your tongue knotted if you read this book so BEWARE OF THE SCARE!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

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