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Runny Babbit

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  7,071 Ratings  ·  472 Reviews
"Runny Babbit lent to wunch
And heard the saitress way,
"We have some lovely stabbit rew --
Our Special for today.""

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.

Welcome to the world of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Ri
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published May 11th 2005 by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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K.D. Absolutely
Definitely a very creative work of Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) who is also the author of the 1964 book, "The Giving Tree" that I enjoyed so much I bought copies of which and gave away to my friends. I think I did that in 2001 not knowing that he just died a couple of years back. I also only learned that he's already dead by reading the Wiki while composing this review. Felt so sad.

The story's main protagonist is Runny Babbit whose actual name is Bunny Rabbit but for unknown reason he and all th
Jason Koivu
* * * Read & reviewed with my niece Emma * * *

Nope. Wasn't working for us. We just weren't in the mood for the silly wordplay. For example, the subtitle to Runny Babbit is A Billy Sook.

Maybe we'll give this another shot at another time, but this time around both Emma and I found this too annoying to read, regardless of how short it is. A shame really. I'd hoped for more from a Shel Silverstein. I expect him to knock it out of the park every time.

Dec 17, 2007 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never, ever, ever heard my son laugh as hard as he does when his dad reads this book to him. If you had a syndrome whereby smiling would kill you, and you heard Henry chortling uncontrollably while reading Runny Babbit, you would smile despite yourself, and then you would die. What was my point? It's a good book.
Skylar Burris
Jul 31, 2012 Skylar Burris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, humor, poetry
This was published posthumously, as, I believe, was Shel Silverstein’s first collection of poems (Don’t Bump the Glump), and I am glad to have a chance, as an adult, to read two more books from the pen of my favorite childhood poet. In many ways, Runny Babbit is a typical collection of Shel Silverstein poetry, but with two differences from his norm: they all deal with the same central character (Runny Babbit), and the letters of some words are switched.

I read this together with my daughter, and
Harun Harahap
Baca buku ini menantang banget karena harus hati-hati bacanya. Kenapa? Karena hurufnya ketuker-ketuker, tapi seru.
L13_F Sandra
Nov 10, 2013 L13_F Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I listened to this on CD while reading the book at the same time. It was read by Dennis Locorriere who has sort of a scratchy voice but he made it very entertaining. I tried to listen to it without looking at the book but it was so difficult to understand without seeing the pictures and words. It sounded like "Jive Talk" and there were a few parts that sounded like the reader was swearing like when he said "fookin' for a light!" in the poem Killy The Bid. This made up language took some getting ...more
Tanya W
Jan 20, 2013 Tanya W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
We really like this book... a book of spoonerisms. I like it especially since I like to randomly talk or sing switching the first consonants in words near each other!

This is my favorite example (not from the book). I probably sang this in the car a dozen times over the holidays... the kids always think it's funny (I can be a bit of a comedian around my kids and their friends in case you didn't suspect).:

Bingle Jells
Snashing through the dough
In a one-horse sopen leigh
O'er the gields we foe
Katherine Dyson
Dec 30, 2012 Katherine Dyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book certainly kept me entertained while I tried to read the jumbled up words and try and make sense of the sentences I was reading.
This story is about a rabbit on a simple adventure, however the clever quirk that the author inhibits within the story is to change the first letter of certain words with another letter of a word e.g runny Babbit.
This book would be great to use as a game during a phonics lesson or just at the end of the day before the children go home. They could challenge the
This book has a town of animals that speak a total different way. They switch the first letters of every word they say!This book was written by Shel Silverstein about a young rabbit with a big imagination who everyone makes fun of.

This book was one of the WORST books I've ever read.I probably only read the first 10 pages before I turned it back into the library.I mean half of the time I couldn't even understand what they were talking about because the letters were mixed up.I bet you,if I can't
Apr 25, 2009 Dani added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents and teachers with struggling reading students
For every frustrated kid learning how to read - make the parents read this one aloud so they'll get a first-hand taste at how hard it really is sounding out those confusing letters! This book can be the turning point for a struggling learner, and at the very least, will develop some empathy on the part of adults who have forgotten how confusing language is. A sensitive and hysterically funny book.
Apr 30, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
I know that I've read this one before, in my quest to expose our girls to the wonderful works of Shel Silverstein. But when I tried to read it aloud with our girls, I realized right away that they were too young to understand the nuances and the humor of the mixed up words. So I waited a few more years before we tried again.

This is not an easy book to read aloud, but it's certainly entertaining and our girls are now at a perfect age to understand the humor and nuances of the semantic acrobatics
Nov 09, 2009 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this a bupid thook initially. Shel Silverstein's inimitable humorous style uses the convention of swapping first consonants of adjoining pairs of words to make with the silly. It gets eye-rollingly annoying after about three pages. The pairings are occasionally snort out loud funny, and clever children will get a kick out of the poems about Runny Babbit, Toe Jurtle and others, but I got a headache, one of those sharp ones that usually comes from eating ice cream, and wasn't willing to ...more
Kelsey Trinkner
I enjoyed the general concept of the book. It told a variety of stories about the animals such as Runny Babbit. Though it was a fun book, it was rather difficult to read. Every sentence switched the beginning letter of a word with the beginning letter of the following word. It's a fun way of making the book a fun book, but it made it a struggle to read it. I love Shel Silverstein, which is why I picked up this book in the first place. I hate to say it, but I didn't enjoy this book. Like I said, ...more
Hannah Young
Apr 05, 2013 Hannah Young rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Runny Babbit" was a very confusing book to read. It was very hard to understand what was happening. Runny Babbit and his friends have a topsy-turvy language that they use. The book doesn't have a specific plot. It has small poems about Runny Babbit and his friends' lives. The topsy-turvy language is fun but challenging. Instead of saying, "Let's read a book," you would say, "Let's bead a rook." I would not recommend this book to any small children just learning how to read. I do think little ki ...more
Lizzy Abhold
I thought this book was super cute and perfect for someone feeling a little down on themselves. In this book, the author, Shel Siverstein, switches up the first letter of one word and the first letter of another word. The way that Shel Silverstein talked about the Runny Babbit was absolutely adorable. Along with Dr. Suess, he creates stories around the one character, which I really love. I'd recommend this book to anyone with a great imagination and that likes a good laugh because of the situati ...more
Maddy Merritt
Jan 17, 2013 Maddy Merritt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very cute! When I was younger I read a few of Shel Silverstein's books and I loved them. The only issue I had with this book was it was hard to read. I had to read some pages twice because the wording messed with my head. This is a book I would read to a younger child, but I wouldn't recommend they read it on their own. Overall the book and pictures were adorable.
Dan Crist
May 23, 2013 Dan Crist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Runny Babbit is a great children's book. I recommend that a parent sits down to read it with the child because some parts get a little complicated. This book has bunch of short stories about Runny Babbit and his friends. Shel Silverstein does a great job writing this book without making it too hard to follow. I recommend this book to any elementary teacher to read to their class.
Jul 16, 2015 Brave(Reads) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of my favorite Shel Silverstein books. It cracks me up every time. I read this with the kids I nanny for today, and I'm counting towards my goal BECAUSE I WANT TO. It's fantastic and I love it. It's a beat grook.
Aug 04, 2009 Machelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok this is a must read to your little ones! We all just laughed out loud reading these funny poems!
Mari Stair
Apr 27, 2015 Mari Stair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We all love humor, and this book guarantees some. It's grealy grealy rate!
Elyssa Chandler
Oct 21, 2016 Elyssa Chandler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for the nostalgia factor. I used to love this book when I was a kid, and it made me laugh man times. I personally love Shel Silverstein as an author, and enjoyed this book. It has a unique idea, which only sort of messes up the flow at the beginning, but when you get used to it, its really fun.
Jamie Golden
This is my second poem/book review
Age Range: 10-15
This book of silly stories is a book of tongue twisters. Pictures are simple sketches that depict what the story is about.
Potential Problem: Not a book for the English learner.
This book can be used in the classroom to use as a mentor text to teach different styles of writing a poem.
Oct 23, 2016 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
1. Runny Babbit won the Quill Award (Children's Illustrated) in 2005.
2. The appropriate grade level would be from first grade to third grade.
3. Runny Babbit is a collection of Shel Silverstein poems but the most distinctive part of this book is that the first letter of a word is switched with another word. The poems are about Runny and how he acts with his family and friends.
4. I loved how the illustrations help determine the meaning of the poem. However, it was confusing to read because of the
Branden Tussing
Sep 22, 2016 Branden Tussing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun to read out loud. My son is now fluent in runny Babbitt.
Benjamin Miller
Mar 20, 2012 Benjamin Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the book “Runny Babbit” by Shel Silverstein. This was his last book he wrote, which was released in in 2005 after his death in 1999. This was an ongoing work in progress for twenty years. This book was a specialized individual anthology. It should be read by Primary and Intermediate students, which are ages 5-12. This book could be read aloud to younger children. It is a great way to give them new vocabulary. It can be read to themselves when they are older and able to understand the voca ...more
Tami Roberts
2nd Grade and up: Read-Aloud/Independent Reading

According to the inside cover, preceding his death, Shel Silverstein had merely complied this book, it took outside assistance to have “Runny Babbit” published. Silverstein is famous for his unique style, but this particular collection of poems is even more unconventional; in every poem found in this book (from the title to the closing poem) he takes the first letter from one word and switches it with another in that sentence creating nonsense wor
Danielle Rapoli
Jan 17, 2016 Danielle Rapoli added it
Shelves: poetry
Summary/Review: Shel Silverstein 19s book of poems follows Runny Babbit as he interacts with all of his friends and family. The thing about Runny is that the characters switches the first letter in one word with another word. The book allows for a fun read and will encourage students to keep reading the poetry. It forces the reader to think about the poem and what is being said. The pictures are used as a resource when determining the meaning of the poem. Uses in classroom: 1.Used to encourage t ...more
Katu Khan
Aug 03, 2013 Katu Khan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, after years of remembering being recommended Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. I have glimpsed Runny Babbit, and instantly the recognizable art style took hold of me. I sat down in the library to take myself on a welcoming (and long denied) adventure of word play.

I no longer want to remember why I have denied myself this amazingly quirky, and utterly embracing diversion from the conforming norm of ‘popular’ and or ‘mainstream’ literature (Bestsellers). I found myself quickly in
Courtney Ennis
Nov 18, 2014 Courtney Ennis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book is by Shel Silverstein and is another poetry one. It is a book where the first letters are switched within the different words. This book is composed of spoonerisms in rhyming verses. The story is about a bunny who is a normal child and has many friends. It is supposed to be a really funny story for kids. I remember reading it when I was little and it was such a fun book. I think all of Shel Silverstein books are really enjoyable and will never get old. The illustrations are in blac ...more
Melissa McMaster
Runny Babbit can either be a very fun or frustrating book to read honestly just depending on your mood when you read it. If you are currently low on patience, I would probably suggest reading something else and coming back to this later. Throughout the whole book, the language is topsy-turvy, swapping the first letters of words around. This can be very fun to read as well, because it almost makes you think of something like “Pig Latin”, and especially reading it out loud can make you laugh! For ...more
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Shel Silverstein was the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.
More about Shel Silverstein...

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“Runny's Nicpic

One day Runny Babbit
Met little Franny Fog.
He said, "Let's have a nicpic
Down by the lollow hog."
He brought some cutter bookies,
Some teanuts and some pea.
And what did Franny Fog bring?
Her whole fog framily.”
More quotes…