Sunday, October 19, 2008
Books that inspire imagination and creativity: The Complete Book of Nonsense
Some classic books don't receive much attention anymore. One of those is Edward Lear's Complete Book of Nonsense. I think that's a shame.
When I was an elementary-aged student making my weekly school library visits there were two books that I inevitably gravitated to. One was a children's book about English history (because I was obsessed with the Tutor dynasty), and the other was The Book of Nonsense.
It contains poems and silly stories, but it is the illustrations that make the book wonderful. They are often funny and always surprising. Lear mixes categories that aren't usually put together and children find it fascinating. Looking at those pictures made me feel that there were endless possibilities of delightful silliness in the world.
Two categories of nonsense in the book I think are particularly clever are the limericks and the nonsense botany. Once your children get the feel for them, they might like to try to make some of their own!
It might take some of the fun out of it though if you turned it into an assignment. This might be one of those books you just might want to keep around in your house for some child to "discover" one day and maybe come to love as much as I did.