Remember how you loved listening to Joy Cowley’s stories and poems at primary school? Now you can enjoy them all over again with your grandchildren in The Gobbledegook Book, an anthology of 20 of her best-loved stories, poems and nonsense rhymes.
Inside you will find classics like Nicketty-nacketty, Noo-Noo-Noo, the poem about that wee wishy woman in an apron of blue who outwitted an ogre called Gobbler Magoo.
And The Giant Pumpkin which eventually outgrew itself and exploded into so many tiny bits that there was enough for a weeklong pumpkin soup party.
Undoubtedly you will remember Greedy Cat who stole the food out of Mum’s shopping bag every time she went to the supermarket.
There are quite a few stories and poems about cats in this anthology. Not sweet little pussies these but robbers and hunters who are ready to attack with tooth and claw but thankfully seldom succeed in their evil missions.
Take Mean cat for example who eschews chunky cat food and milk preferring to eat dead blowflies and chew the heads off mice
‘Are these your spectacles Grandma?” will sound very familiar to those of us of a certain age who are prone to losing our glasses and are hoping a grandchild might be able to find them for us. But they are not her spectacles they are her goggly gookers. And what follows is a whole lot more of Grandma’s delightful nonsensical gobbledegook.
Those partial to revolting rhymes are sure to appreciate the poem about Uncle Andy’s grubby singlet which he bought from an army surplus store. He finds it very useful for all sorts of things, but it does attract the flies.
Giselle Clarkson’s brightly coloured comicky illustrations add greatly to the fun of The Gobbledegook Book. Joy Cowley has called them ‘mad and scrumptious,’ and that is a very apt description.
How time flies. Joy Cowley is 83 now and has lost 75% of her vision, but she is still a prolific writer. So, we can expect more poems and stories from her in the future! In the meantime, let’s enjoy this book.
The Gobbledegook Book. Author: Joy Cowley. Illustrator: Giselle Clarkson. Gecko Press. RRP $39.99
Reviews by Lyn Potter
Parent and grandparent, Avid traveler, writer & passionate home cook