In thinking upon what is good for the soul, laughter came to mind. I think we will
always remember the books and poems at our house that made us burst out in laughter. We wanted to read them again! This is an atmosphere in learning that Charlotte Mason helped me see. It is created not only in where we are but in what we are reading, discussing or looking at. Proverbs 15:15 says “the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.” And this a good laugh will bring!
For Picture Books for the very young, I recommend Seven Silly Eaters
by Mary Ann Hoberman. Written in stanzas, you’ll never realize it’s poetry.
Here are some excerpts:
When Peter was just one year old,
He did not like his milk served cold.
He did not like his milk served hot.
He liked it warm…
And he would not
Drink it if he was not sure
It was the proper temperature.
Not so long ago, they say,
A mother lived–just like today.
Mrs. Peters was her name;
Her little boy was named the same.
Now Peter was a perfect son
In every way–except for one.
Two good authors for the young age are Shirley Hughes’ Alfie Books and Dorothy Edward’s My Naughty Little Sister books, illustrated by Shirley Hughes. Interesting that Shirley Hughes won the Eleanor Farjeon Literature Award in 1984. (Next book author below)
Funny read alouds for a bit older:
The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon kept our whole family begging for more one midwinter eve that we woke up the next morning and read more. My husband laughed so hard at the fairy in “The Lady’s Room” that he wanted to bring it to his office to lighten the stress! Here’s a link to it online:
Twig by Elizabeth Orton Jones was another one that made us laugh. Quite engaging and delightful!
Also some of Howard Pyle’s stories in The Wonder Clock bring smiles, chuckles, and the imagination is nurtured!
Two particular poems that I have used to pull in attention, especially with a table full of elementary age boys, that will have them asking to read them again. Not just then but a year later:
Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore —
No doubt you have heard the name before —
Was a boy who never would shut a door!
The wind might whistle, the wind might roar,
And teeth be aching and throats be sore,
But still he never would shut the door.
His father would beg, his mother implore,
“Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore,
We really do wish you would shut the door!”
Their hands they wrung, their hair they tore;
But Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore
Was deaf as the buoy out at the Nore.
When he walked forth the folks would roar,
“Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore,
Why don’t you think to shut the door?”
They rigged up a Shutter with sail and oar,
And threatened to pack off Gustavus Gore
On a voyage of penance to Singapore.
But he begged for mercy and said, “No more!
Pray do not send me to Singapore
On a Shutter, and then I will shut the door!”
“You will?” said his parents; “then keep on shore!
But mind you do! For the plague is sore
Of a fellow that never will shut the door,
Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore!”
-By William Brighty Rands
“Leetla Giorgio Washeenton”
By Thomas Augustine Daly
You know w’at for ees school keep out
Dees holiday, my son?
Wal, den, I gona tal you ’bout
Dees Giorgio Washeenton.
Wal, Giorgio was leetla keed
Ees leeve long time ago,
An’ he gon’ school for learn to read
An’ write hees nam’, you know.
He moocha like for gona school
An’ learna hard all day,
Baycause he no gat time for fool
Weeth bada keeds an’ play.
Wal, wan cold day w’en Giorgio
Ees steell so vera small,
He start from home, but he ees no
Show up een school at all!
Oh, my! hees Pop ees gatta mad
An’ so he tal hees wife:
“Som’ leetla boy ees gon’ feel bad
Today, you bat my life!”
An’ den he grab a bigga steeck
An’ gon’ out een da snow
An’ lookin’ all aroun’ for seek
Da leetla Giorgio.
Ha! w’at you theenk? Firs’ theeng he see
Where leetla boy he stan’,
All tangla up een cherry tree,
Weeth hatchet een hees han’.
“Ha! w’at you do?” hees Pop he say,
“W’at for you busta rule
An’ stay away like dees for play
Eenstead for gon’ to school?”
Da boy ees say: “I no can lie,
An’ so I speaka true.
I stay away from school for try
An’ gat som’ wood for you.
I theenka deesa cherry tree
Ees goodda size for chop,
An’ so I cut heem down, you see,
For justa help my Pop.”
Hees Pop he no can gatta mad,
But looka please’ an’ say:
“My leetla boy, I am so glad
You taka holiday.”
Ees good for leetla boy, you see,
For be so bright an’ try
For help hees Pop; so den he be.
A granda man bimeby.
So now you gotta holiday
An’ eet ees good, you know,
For you gon’ do da sama way
Like leetla Giorgio.
Don’t play so mooch, but justa stop,
Eef you want be som’ good,
An’ try for help your poor old Pop
By carry home som’ wood;
An’ mebbe so like Giorgio
You grow for be so great
You gona be da Presidant
Of dese Unita State’!
(poems from My Singing World by Louis Untermeyer)
Do you have any that have made you laugh?