When my grandma passed away several years ago, my grandpa did a big clear out of the house, and came across an old book, which he gave to me. The sleeve cover was ripped, the last page had been torn out, and the front did not have anything written on it. On the face of things, it looked like quite a serious book, but on the spine it read in gold letters, A Book of Nonsense.
In the introduction it explains that the book is a collection of poems and short stories of, well, absolute nonsense. It was named after the original A Book of Nonsense by Edward Lear, which was first published in 1846.
The children's book is full of limericks that - as you would expect - make no sense, and are very funny for younger readers, and can even make grown ups chuckle. The humour not only comes from the text, but the illustrations as well, all of which were drawn by Lear himself. My favourite limerick is:
'There was a Young Lady whose nose
Was so long that it reached her toes:
So she hired an Old Lady,
Whose conduct was steady,
To carry that wonderful nose.'
As well as Lear's limericks, you will find all the rhymes from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass. In addition, there is a great selection of traditional Mother Goose nursery rhymes, such as 'See-Saw Margery Daw', 'Ride a Cock Horse', and 'Patty Cake'.
Finally there are a few short stories, some of which are German translations, like 'Baron Munchausen's Wonderful Horse', that are not necessarily silly, but fanciful in theme.
Bits of nonsense like this are becoming something of a lost genre, but while kids might not immediately soften to the style of the stories, they will love the poems, which are truly ageless.