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Got kids? No? Get some! Now! Go! Borrow, if need be! Inter-library loan, whatever! Grab a kid, then check this out...

The new Shel Silverstein book of spoonerism poetry,Runny Babbit, is laugh-out-loud funny (pardon mon idiom, but it is). It's a collection of previously-unpublished work (he died in 1999).

The book was a gift for my four-year-old, and she likes the book's fun cadence and nonsense. But it's even more fun to read with my seven-year old, who picks up on what's happening. It plays out like this:

1. Read a line
2. Pause a beat, wait for him to decode it and laugh
3. Repeat

Here's a taste...

Runny gave himself a cairhut
(But he would not admit it).
When his scamma molded him,
He said, "The darber bid it."
So she went to bee the sarber.
The swarber said "I bear
I did not souch one tingle head
Upon your little hare."

The punchline is cute, but darber/sarber/swarber is the clincher for me. Elsewhere in the book, he has a rhyme about "sea poup." My four-year-old gets that one.

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