What better place to rest my flippers and conkimplate the crockery than here at a Mad Tea Party at Schiphol Airport. I’ve not had a moment to spare in the last few days, and so finally I begin this latest leg (surely at least an octopod or dodecapod by now) of the Nonsense Way.
For those just tuning in, I’m beginning a little tour in India for my new book, This Book Makes No Sense: Nonsense Poems and Worse—just out now through Scholastic. It’s long in coming, longer in humming, and extrapolatedly belated, considering that this kind of book is more or less what I had wanted to do way back when my teeth were less long, well nigh on eleven donkey’s ears ago, when dastardly Penguinish forces steered me away from a book primarily for children. I can’t complain about The Tenth Rasa, but I never did get around to doing a children’s nonsense book. So here I am, different publisher, different dhoti (thankfully), same pair of shoes—with a book filled with nonsense poems and stories by some of the top nonsense dogs of India, and some very good eggs (dogeggs?), like Sampurna Chattarji, Anushka Ravishankar, Samit Basu, Kaushik Viswanath (to name a few!), the ever-tubular translation talents of Anita Vaccharajani, plus a special guest appearance by none other than Jonaraja, aka JonArno Lawson, the Prince of Protopappadums. And it's all topped off with Priya Kuriyan's amazing illustrations. It’s a Floyal Rush, if ever a whever a Wiz there was! And this time around I managed to fling a few of my own nonsense falafels, including some poems and an Alice mash-up that teaches the younguns how to write nonsense and subvert authority with both hands and extra kapow. The book is out in India now—but not available out of India, unfortunately. I hope that may change at some point.
So the trip in a nutshell… I’m flying in to New Delhi, where I’ll be staying in the airy climes of Platypus Books (S. Basu, A. Ravishankar Proprietors) the newest hippest publisher of children’s books. In Delhi, my primary target is the Bookaroo children’s book festival, where I’m doing a session with my nonsense partner of yore, Sampurna Chattarji. Connected to Bookaroo and also separately through Scholastic, I’ll be visiting several schools, performing pieces from the new book, from The Tenth Rasa, from Jethro Tull, from They Might Be Giants, from Barry Louis Polisar, and anything else I can mustard up and catsup down. I’m then off to Mumbai and Calcutta, to visit more schools. My goal is to start what I’m calling the Indian Spring, a nonsense revolution. Huzzah!