Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Silly Verse For Kids

Spike Milligan
Puffin Books

Silly Verse for Kids - a hilarious collection of silly poems by Spike Milligan! A collection of the absurd, ridiculous, sublime and characteristically anarchic verse from the brilliant Spike Milligan. With his very own illustrations, this collection, which includes the famous On the Ning Nang Nong will make you laugh from the bottom of your belly - just like Spike did.

I've been a fan of Spike Milligan as long as I can remember.  Whether it be watching the various Qs as a kid or reading the wartime memoirs as a teenager or getting wrecked and watching 'The Bed-Sitting Room' in my early twenties. I still think one of the funniest pieces of TV I remember seeing was a re-purposed Goon Show skit in one of the 'Q' series that I've always known as the dustbin dance.

For those of you who've not discovered them the various volumes of his wartime memoirs are a brilliantly funny and at times deeply poignant read that are heartily recommended but for a more instantaneous hit of pure Milligan his poems are the place to head to.  I quite like a bit (and I do mean a bit) of poetry but I'm in no way a connoisseur. I've only ever learnt three poems off by heart and they're all by him with one of them appearing here.

Rain

There are holes in the sky
Where the rain gets in
But they're ever so small
That's why rain is thin.

(all copyright to the owner)

These poems were all created to amuse his children and that's the sort of mindset that you should approach them with.  The collection is a cavalcade of the joyous abandon of logic and rules, filled with playful wordplay and inventive stupidity that sees the creation of works of wonder like 'On the Ning Nang Nong', 'Contagion' and 'Failure' and makes this a book that you can pick up again and again.

Oh, and it's almost impossible to read them out loud with finding yourself doing a Spike Milligan impersonation.

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