I once wrote a post on the poem “On the Ning Nang Nong” by Spike Milligan. That poem has never left my mind and since then I have happily acquired more wonderful poetry by Spike Milligan in the form of a ‘collected’ called A Children’s Treasury of Milligan. Ever his whimsical self, Milligan purports that the collection is a result of a search for six of his childrens’ titles that were supposedly found in various locations like a haddock-stretching factory and a dead whale in Newfoundland among other outlandish places. But seriously folks, this collection does indeed draw from Milligan’s previous works for children that include such classics as Unspun Socks from a Chicken’s Laundry and Silly Verse for Kids.
Milligan is particularly good with animals. Indeed, one of his six books is titled A Book of Milliganimals. This section is not just confined to word-play on the theme of animals but also has some great illustrations done by Milligan himself. There is, for example, the rouge-colored “Strawberry Moose” and the “Three-legged Hippo” which is a rendering of the animal with three legs, of course, from different perspectives, one of which includes a “rare back view.” And of course, there is lots of silly verse such as:
Tiger, Tiger Burning etc
Tigers travel stealthily
Using, first, legs one and three.
They alternate with two and four;
And, after that, there are no more.
As well as Milligan’s verse, the collection contains two stories — “The Bald Twit Lion” and “Sir Nobonk and the terrible, awful, dreadful, naughty, nasty Dragon” which make good counterpoint to the poetry. With all this wonderful material, this book can easily entertain parent and child for many a bedtime read, as my daughter and I are discovering.
This week’s Poetry Friday host is Becky’s Book Reviews…