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More Laura E. Richards

Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010 in children's books

Helen, a recent blog visitor, asked me where to find this poem. As a favor to her, I’m providing the first few stanzas here. I never read this poem as a child because the illustrations by Thomas Handforth frightened me. I didn’t like the bad guy slinking around on the back of a panther.

This is from Childcraft: Storytelling and Other Poems.

A Ballad of China

Her name was Dilliki Dolliki Dinah;
Niece she was to the Empress of China;
Fair she was as a morning of May,
When Hy Kokolorum stole her away.

He was a wizard, I’d have you know;
Wicked as weasels and back as a crow;
Lived in a castle a-top of a hill;
Had a panther whose name was Bill;

Used to ride him around and around,
Creeping and peeping close to the ground;
Working mischief wherever he could;
Nothing about him in any way good!

Illustration by Thomas Handforth

Richards wrote other nonsense verses which also appeared in this volume. My favorites were Eletelephony and Antonio. She also published several children’s books.

Take a quiz about the poems in this volume of Childcraft.

  1. We love Eletelephony too! Luke almost had it memorized when he was 5 I think. I can’t remember it right now though.

  2. I am so happy to find this site and the poem. I could not remember the name of the poem or author but I can recite nearly all the rest of it by heart. I loved it and my Childcraft books as a child.

    I work in clay, now, and wanted to name one of my pieces after Dillika Dinah and also wanted to give credit to the author but couldn’t find the name. This is like finding an old, old friend who had been lost.

  3. Thke picture of the villain that accompanied this poem in that book was downright scary! ♣

  4. Thank you very much for finding this. Iremember the pictures since I was six. The picture of the villain was why I liked this poem. Where can I get the complete rendition?

  5. I don’t want to violate anyone’s copyright so don’t feel like I can reprint an entire poem here.

  6. I loved my Childcraft as a child! Now I am a school librarian and I bought copies of the first two volumes of an old childcraft on ebay for my library. I use them when I teach poetry. (You can’t beat the rhythm of, ”Skinny Mrs. Snipkin”) I am VERY protective of them and can barely lend them to a teacher…

  7. I am also protective of mine.

  8. I too loved this poem as did all three of my children. They also loved that Childcraft. I have recently pieced together that whole set of Childcraft for my daughter who teaches pre school now. I agree with her that no modern day illustration can compare with those books. They are still the best!

  9. That is the part , i remeber ………In Spanish : “Balada para una Prncesa de la China ”
    Erase una vez una princesita de la China.

    Su nombre ? Tai-Talai-Dalai-Ti-Dina

    Delicada cual fina porcelana,

    de la Corte Imperial, la flor galana.

    Y érase un espantoso bandolero,

    que una noche, osado y traicionero,

    fue y robó a Tai Talai Dalai Ti Dina,

    la Bella Princesita de la China.

    Kokoloro el bandido se llamaba,

    y en el alto castillo que habitaba…

    ** ?

    till here i remember .. was so young for remember complete.. So funny to read , like this.

    (planeaba sus fechorías… )

    una pantera negra lo seguía. ???

  10. Among my favorites — Volume 2 of the Childcraft series — My mother gave them all to my cousin when we left Alabama for California — But I still miss them! And I still sometimes quote them — and I am 81 years old! And did anyone else have their reception of classical music affected by a couple of albums of 78 records — Classical tunes with children’s words?

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