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The Everyman Book of Nonsense Verse features an eclectic spectrum of contributors ranging wildly from Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll to Hilaire Belloc, Ted Hughes, Ogden Nash, and Shakespeare, with illustrations by Mervyn Peake, Quentin Blake, Emma Chichester Clark, Spike Milligan, and the deliciously sinister Edward Gorey. Such old favorites as “The Owl and the Pussycat” are accompanied by “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” and “Jabberwocky,” while Ted Hughes’s “Wodwo” sits alone by the bank of a stream in a state of innocence and curiosity that mirrors a child’s sense of wonder at the universe. Whether sweetly funny or deliciously naughty, these masterpieces of the art of the absurd will charm readers both young and old.
“I do not see why children should have all the luck. . . . The Everyman Book of Nonsense Verse . . . is a grown-up’s delight. . . . Children are just the excuse—if you need one. . . . Louise Guinness is properly eclectic and properly classic all at once; she stretches the boundaries of nonsense. . . . I’m very happy that children are being properly subverted. But we grown-ups need this nonsense even more.” —Michael Pye, The Scotsman
“The book I’m planning to read to myself—and my children—every night is The Everyman Book of Nonsense Verse, a shrewdly chosen, irresistible mixture of old and new, illustrated by (among others) Quentin Blake, John Tenniel, Emma Chichester Clark, GK Chesterton and Edward Gorey. I particularly adore Gorey’s invented creatures, especially his Ombledroom, an anxious white sheet on legs: ‘The Ombledroom is vast and white, and therefore visible by night.’” —Kate Kellaway, The Observer