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The Best Nonsense Literature Kids Books

Looking for the best nonsense literature books?
Jabberwocky
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The slithy toves and borogoves invite you to take an adventure through the tumtum trees in Jabberwocky: A BabyLit Nonsense Primer. Jennifer Adams cleverly pulls text from Little Master Carroll’s original poem and pairs it with Alison Oliver’s bright and cheery illustrations to create a whimsical tale.

There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea
Written by Jennifer Ward & illustrated by Steve Gray
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

There was a coyote who swallowed a flea, plucked from his knee, that tickly flea. Yippee-o-Ki-Yee! Skinny ol’ Coyote delights readers of all ages as he swallows his way through this delicious southwestern-flavored retelling of a well-loved rhyme. As Coyote gets bigger, the story gets zanier as a bird, a bull, and even an entire cactus end up as dinner. It’s pure fun for everyone―even that little flea.

Oh, the THINKS You Can Think!
Written & illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Young readers will delight in Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! which celebrates the imagination and encourages young readers to think . . . about thinking! “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the Thinks you can think up if only you try.”

Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover!
Written by Lucille Colandro & illustrated by Jared D. Lee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

There was an Old Lady who swallowed things over and over, and now she’s come back to swallow a clover!

She’s back! That lovely old lady has returned just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Now she’s swallowing items to make the perfect rainbow to hide a pot of gold.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books!
Written by Lucille Colandro & illustrated by Brynne Barnes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A twist on the classic tale of “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” takes the story even further as the lady goes about swallowing a variety of items related to school, including books, a ruler, and chalk.

  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! - In a Halloween-themed twist on the classic “Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”, the old lady manages to swallow a bat, owl, cat, ghost, goblin, and even a wizard. Original.

  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey! - The old lady is at it again, and this time she’s swallowing a Turkey . . . she’s always been quirky! You won’t believe why this old lady swallowed a turkey, a ball, a hat, a balloon, a boat, some wheels, and a horn of plenty! Read this book and find out why!

  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves! - A twist on the classic tale of “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” takes the story even further as the lady goes about swallowing up a variety of elements of autumn, including some leaves, a pumpkin, and some hay.

  • Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear! - A woman frantically rushes to prepare for the fast-approaching winter while her husband sits idly by.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
Written & illustrated by Simms Taback
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

An old favorite as you’ve never seen it before! Everyone knows the song about the old lady who swallowed a fly, a spider, a bird, and even worse, but who’s ever seen what’s going on inside the old lady’s stomach? With this inventive die-cut artwork, Simms Tabak gives us a rollicking, eye-popping version of the well-loved poem.

The Nutcrackers and the Sugar-Tongs
Written by Edward Lear & illustrated by Marcia Sewall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

The nutcrackers and sugar-tongs suddenly decide to leave their place at the table and go off on horses, leaving the household behind in chaos and confusion.

Merry Merry Fibruary
Written by Doris Orgel & illustrated by Arnold Lobel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The funniest things occur in the month of Fibruary—fish go peopling, snow turns to ice cream, and babies are delivered by rocket.

The Pig-tale
Written by Lewis Carroll and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson & illustrated by Leonard B. Lubin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-11

A pig, brokenhearted because he is too fat to jump, is encouraged to imitate a frog’s sprightly leap

Don't Bump the Glump!: And Other Fantasies
Written & illustrated by Shel Silverstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Don’t Bump the Glump! turns fifty! A commemorative gold anniversary sticker graces Shel Silverstein’s first poetry collection, celebrating fifty years since publication. This, his only book in full color, was published the same year as his famous classic The Giving Tree.

Filled with stunning ink and watercolor illustrations, Don’t Bump the Glump! is bursting with Shel Silverstein’s unique imagination and bold brand of humor. Are you ready to be astonished, tickled, and entertained by this most unusual bestiary of silly and amazing creatures?

Shel Silverstein’s incomparable career as a bestselling children’s book author and illustrator started 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 of classic poetry collections such as Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, Every Thing On It, Don’t Bump the Glump!, and Runny Babbit.

And don’t miss Runny Babbit Returns, the new book from Shel Silverstein!

  • Oh, Say Can You Say? - Tongue twisters abound in this classic Dr. Seuss Beginner Book! “Bed Spreaders spread spreads on beds. Bread Spreaders spread butter on breads. And that Bed Spreader better watch out how he’s spreading . . . or that Bread Spreader’s sure going to butter his bedding.” This riotous collection weaves together a wonderment of words designed to twist the lips. Wordsmiths and beginning readers will love Oh Say Can You Say? and treasure tackling these tangled tongue teasers. Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

  • There's a Wocket in my Pocket - In this silly Bright and Early Book classic by Dr. Seuss, a young boy goes exploring in his house and finds an array of fun characters! Are you certain there’s a Jertain in the curtain? Or have you ever had a feeling there’s a Geeling on the ceiling? From the pesky Nooth Grush on a tooth brush to a sleepy Zelf up on the shelf, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket will have young readers eager to explore their homes and the wonders of rhyming and wordplay.
    Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.

  • Scrambled Eggs Super! - An eggs-cellent way to start the day! Breakfast will never be the same, thanks to Dr. Seuss’s classic rhyming picture book Scrambled Eggs Super! When Peter T. Hooper tires of traditional scrambled eggs, he sets out on a quest to find the rarest and most exciting eggs so he can make the amazing breakfast he craves. Featuring zany egg-layers such as the Sala-ma-goox, the Tizzle-Topped Grouse, and the Bombastic Aghast, Scrambled Eggs Super! will hit the spot and leave readers wanting seconds. “Riotous humor in picture and verse as an enterprising Seuss creature hunts uncommon eggs for a super deluxe dish.”—Child Study Assn.

  • Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! - Dr. Seuss has always been welcome in every reader’s home, but in this Bright and Early Book classic, Marvin K. Mooney’s welcome has been worn out! In merry verse and illustrations, Marvin is asked to leave by every conceivable means of transportation. He can leave by lion’s tail or stamp himself and go by mail. By stilts or Crunk-Car or Zumble-Zay, it’s time that Marvin was on his way. Will Marvin ever get the hint? Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.

Bananas in My Ears: A Collection of Nonsense Stories, Poems, Riddles, & Rhymes
Written by Michael Rosen & illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-14

A charming collection featuring free verse stories, rhymes, and poems from the renowned Michael Rosen and quirky artwork by Quentin Blake.

From the chaos of breakfast to the calm of bedtime, this whimsical collection, pairing two former British Laureates, is full of delightful moments. Explore the pleasures of acting silly and the pains of feeling ill, the camaraderie of siblings and strange goings-on at the beach. . . . All this and a trip on a flying bed, too!

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