The title is the tipoff: a small, sick parents' joke is expanded into a cycle of jiggety joggety rhymes. ""For Monster One was pink as a rose And looked like a girl, with a button nose,... And then what happened? She grew and grew And after a while there was no one but YOU Where our baby had been"" After much hectoring about punctuality, politeness and practicing, the children rebel. ""They left us a note and in it they said: 'Minding and manners and baths and bed Have ruined our lives. We are running away!'"" Seven years and three months later, they propose to return, whereupon the parents pack up, and ""WE NEVER WERE HEARD OF AGAIN."" A fitting epitaph for the book, perhaps.