The Gobbledegook Book

This is a treasury of favourite poems and stories from the much-loved New Zealand author Joy Cowley. It’s a lovely book to dip in and out of, and is ideal for a bedtime story. The rhymes and stories have something for every reader, from little red tractors to exploding pumpkins to waddling ducks.

As you leaf through the book, it will come as no surprise to hear that generations of New Zealanders grew up listening to poems and stories from the prolific author in primary school. Some tales have an edge, such as ‘Nicketty-Nacketty Noo-Noo-Noo’, which tells the story of an ogre who kidnaps a woman so that she will cook stew for him forever. She outwits him by cooking the stew in glue and escaping. ‘Faster Faster’ encourages us to be as brave as bus driver Billy Castor who loses his lucky yellow feather but realises that he can still drive his bus safely without it. Cats pop up regularly throughout the book, but young readers will especially enjoy ‘Greedy Cat’. His habit of eating all the shopping is thwarted by Mum who puts a pot of pepper in her shopping bag.

The stories are enlivened by energetic and funny illustrations from Giselle Clarkson. This handsome book comes with its own ribbon bookmark to help you keep your place. It would earn its keep on the bookshelf of any home or classroom.