A BOOK FOR KIDS book cover
  A Book for Kids
C.J. Dennis



Dustjacket synopsis
"C. J. Dennis was famous as a writer for adults long before he began to write for children. He and his wife had no children of their own, and the first story he wrote especially for young people was for a friend's son, who was in hospital following an accident. The story was all about some strange people called the Glugs, who lived in the land of Gosh, and Dennis found that he enjoyed writing it as much as young Bert enjoyed reading it. The story later became the book THE GLUGS OF GOSH, a favourite with adults and children alike.

"Dennis went on to put together A BOOK FOR KIDS, a marvellous collection of verse and stories, illustrated with his own sketches. His wife later recalled: "I never knew Den more happy than when he was doing A BOOK FOR KIDS."

"One day he brought out his cover design to show her - a sketch, finally in fact not used, of a baby reading a book. She liked the picture enormously but both of them had the uneasy feeling that something was wrong with it. They puzzled over the problem for a while and then she saw it - the baby's big toes were on the outside of its feet! "That shows how much I know about babies," said Dennis laughing uproariously as he went back to his study to alter the drawing.

Dennis did know one very important thing about children - he knew how to make them laugh - and his book, with favourite verses like "The Triantiwontigongolope", "The Ant Explorer", "The Circus", "The Band", "Our Cow" and "The Swagman", has entertained thousands of kids "over four and under four-and-eighty", as Dennis' dedication puts it, since it was first published in 1921. It has now sold well over 45,000 copies.

"BOOK FOR KIDS is now for the first time brilliantly illustrated in full colour. The vitality and merriment of these poems are as fresh today as they were when Dennis had such fun creating his book so many years ago, and it is certain that for many years to come "good children over four and under four-and-eighty" will continue to enjoy the work of this clever, vigorous writer, and to accept the invitation to "think of things, and laugh" with him."


The Band
Our Street
The Sailor
Our Cow
The Swagman
The Porter
The Looking Glass
The Triantiwontigongolope
The Circus
The Long Road Home
The Music of Your Voice
Old Farmer Jack
The Pieman
Polly Dibbs
The Ant Explorer
The Famine
The Feast
The Barber
The Dawn Dance
The Spotted Heifers
The Teacher
The Song of the Sulky Stockman
I Wonder
The Traveller
A Change of Air
The Drovers
Old Black Jacko
Going to School
The Postman
The Axeman
Riding Song
Tea Talk
Upon the Road to Rockabout
Bird Song (Crow)
Bird Song (Kookaburra)
Growing Up
The Baker
The Little Red House
You and I
The Boy who Rode into the Sunset
Bessie and the Bunyip
Good Enough
I Wonder Whether...
The Unsociable Wallaby
I Wonder What...
Bird Song
Bird Song
I Wonder Why...
The Publisher
Good Night
A Very Charming Gentleman...

It is possible that this book might have started out as "A Book of Illustrated Nonsense Verse", which is mentioned by Dennis in a letter to James Tyrrell dated 2nd June 1915.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002