Funnybones

Seeing this diagram by Stephen Wildish, reminded me of the very satisfying formula at the beginning of Allan Ahlberg‘s Funnybones:

Allan and Janet Ahlberg produced so many fantastic picture books, and often what made them so good was the simplicity of the idea.

The opening lines of this one:

In a dark, dark town there was a dark, dark street
and in the dark, dark street there was a dark, dark house,
and in the dark, dark house there were some dark, dark stairs
and down the dark, dark stairs there was a dark, dark cellar
and in the dark dark cellar….

Three skeletons lived!

The pictures work brilliantly too, with the black background throughout. The book worked so well that the Ahlbergs made lots of follow-ups.

The cartoonified version stuck fairly faithfully to it, though there’s not a really good quality version on YouTube. Griff Rhys Jones was the ideal narrator:

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