I can just see Eleanor absorbed in the catalog of the Thorne Rooms. And what excellent timing on reading the book, just as you were visiting the Illinois grandparents.
Up here in Maine, I've been browsing our kids' book collection and came up with a wonderful one. I think you were looking at it when you came to visit Child's Play:
I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild's Pocket Book, edited by Iona and Peter Opie with spectacular illustrations by good old Maurice Sendak. We've talked about Opie collections of nursery rhymes before, but this one is more chants than rhymes, suitable for schoolyard recitation, like "sticks and stones..." or "rain rain go away...." But those are just the beginning!
The Opies put the 174 rhymes into wonderful categories --
Nonsense-- to name just a few.
Here's one from "Reality":
Under "Guile - Malicious":
Adam and Eve and Pinch-MeAn interactive rhyme, that one. Under "Guile - Innocent," with the note "punctuation is important":
Went down to the river to bathe;
Adam and Eve were drowned,
Who do you think was saved?
Charles the First walked and talkedSendak illustrates with a very elegant headless gentleman. Then there are several rhymes suitable for writing in one's own book, under "Book Protection":
Half an hour after his head was cut off
This book is one thing,"Mock Scholastic" has a sub-category, "Loony Latin" (best when read aloud):
My fist is another;
Steal not the one
For fear of the other.
Brutus adsum jam forte,The illustration includes two miserable-looking guys in togas and laurel wreaths, one with his face buried in a hat.
Brutus sic in omnibus,
Caesar sic inat.
One can tell that everything about this book is fun: the collecting of the rhymes, Sendak's wacky illustrations, the reading aloud.
Something to put a little zip into back-to-school.