"I discovered this one in my fiancee's stack after the recent move (it's hers but we pool our books). My 10 year old self might have been left with a stronger impression, but it seems I have come to Silverstein a bit late (20 years?). What's lacking on the poetry side of things is partially made up for by the creepy, Kafkaesque illustrations. Now that I think about it, my pre-teen self would probably have found more than a few them particularly haunting, which counts for something I suppose. Without the pen and ink accompaniment, however, you are left only with some pretty silly and ultimately forgettable poetry.
If you're like me and you like illustrated books but not Shel Silverstein, I recommend looking to that other Chicago native, Edward Gorey, for your fix." Daniel Bastian said.
"Just one of the treasures you stumble upon while searching through Goodreads. The books you forgot all about even though they were absolute favorites when you were a kid. I didn't like this one quite as much as
but it's still one remembered fondly from years and years and years and......you get the idea, lol, ago.
Loved these so much "Where the Sidewalk Ends" is one I bought my own daughter because I adored it so much and I actually still have my original copy. Wonderful memories....and I have a ton of kid, teen, twenty something and adult in me to enjoy them all over availing with the adult books I'm so thrilled with today . " Melissa I said.
"Shel Silverstein has long been one of my favorite authors. His stories and poetry are written with the craft of wit and humor. In some poems he uses the craft of repetition and in others he just writes creatively. A Light in the Attic is just one of his many amazing books of compiled poems.
"If you have to dry the dishes
(Such an awful, boring chore)
If you have to dry the dishes
('Stead of going to the store)
If you have to dry the dishes
And you drop one on the floor -
Maybe they won't let you
Dry the dishes anymore."
I chose this book as my poetry book for my reading and writing odyssey. I can think of so many mini lessons that I could use this book for. I could use this book during a poetry lesson to show students examples of different kinds of poems. I could also use it to show students how authors can use wit and humor in their writing to entertain and relate to their readers. " Leslie Rock said.
"In the pantheon of literature shaping my nascent creative flicker, Shel Silverstein remains a master of lunacy and language. Long after losing my appetite for R.L. Stine's "Fear Street" or the frightful suspense of Alvin Schwartz' "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark", Silverstein's whimsical passages continue to invoke nostalgic and thoughtful reflection. Of "The Giving Tree", my mother echoes the undeviating refrain that it is a woeful fable of an ungrateful child and a loving, long suffering parent. I respond with a nod of agreement and apology having learned better than to quarrel with her interpretation of that particular work.
"I've discovered a way to stay friends forever--
There's really nothing to it.
I simply tell you what to do
And you do it!" ~ Friendship
His deeply imaginative ideas combined with a rich awareness of words to craft a collection of clever cerebral exchanges. Silverstein chose not to endeavour making sense of the utter nonsense which exists in the dreams of children. In his poems and illustrations, there resides an inquisitive surreality of characters and circumstances which are at times morbid, silly, unusual, somber, capricious, self indulgent or inappropriate. That array of attributes represented a wider spectrum than most children's literature of his era had considered yet all were qualities of which any child might be possessed.
"I shot an arrow toward the sky,
It hit a white cloud floating by.
The cloud fell dying to the shore,
I don't shoot arrows anymore." ~ Arrows
In spite of resolute parental naivete on our part, children are not yet whole beings. They are evolving and developing with each new insight which should arise. Why should they not be given the full palette of human emotion in which to dabble their paintbrush while there remains a steady hand to guide their intentions? Silverstein recognized children were smarter than adults acknowledged and wrote images filled with riddles, trap doors and passageways into the unknown.
If confusion arose as to the meaning of any given story, there was no discernible moral interpretation at the end. He trusted that children could ask questions and sort out those quandaries on their own. What if they could send away in the mail for a new set of parents as does the young man in "Clarence"? Is it such a terrifying thought that every child might at some moment dislike their parents? Or desire to join the UCR (Union for Children's Rights) and dispense with performing chores until their demands are met?
"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my toys to break,
So none of the other kids can use them...
Amen." ~ Prayer of the Selfish Child
Silverstein wrote in the tradition of the grand triumvirate alongside Seuss and Sendak. Authors of juvenile literature who were unafraid to stretch and layer their passages into the space of fascination and fantasy. Could those arcane worlds engaged in Harry Potter or "The Hunger Games" exist without the precedent laid by the dragon of Grindly Grun, the Gooloo bird or the quick digesting Gink?
Silverstein can be an especially difficult read when one has spent a lifetime having their language skills battered into shape by each gruesome guardian of the English oral tradition. His random meter and loose leaning prose lead one to imagine they are reading another language entirely. I surely realize now that he inspires the same wonder and bewilderment as deciphering Pablo Neruda in Spanish. Perhaps this is the greatest gift Silverstein leaves behind in these writings. A self contained language filled with a meaning and clarity all its own which will be accessed only when you rediscover the precocious, curiosity you brought to the book as a child exploring literature for the first time." Michael Strode said.
"I read this book with everyone else in the family besides my older sister and my dad. I always like the Shel Sliverstine books that we get from the library but they are all a little disturbing.
That said I have many favorite poems like What Did? and Messy Room (I can relate.) I like all the poems (even if some of them are disturbing.) There are many ways to read this book ad the main to it is 50 poems at a time. All the poems mean something different to me. All that to say I hope you read this book." Sam Kuntz said.
" 5 amazing stars! These poems are really good. I loved everyone of them. I like how every poem had a its own story it and some poems rhyme and has a twist to it. " Shelby said.
" This is one of my childhood favorites. I've had it for years and it's all battered because I've read the poems so often. Oddly enough, it's the only book of Silverstein's poems that I own, though I'm familiar with many more of his poems. This one will always be my favorite, though. I can recite so many of the poems from memory. If you ever need to be cheered up, I'd recommend this book! " rinabeana said.
" I used this book for a talent show in Jr High. I don't remember what poem I did, but one that I incidentally memorized along the way is still really funny to me. Crowded TubThere s too many kids in this tub.There s too many elbows to scrub.I just washed a behindThat I m sure wasn t mineThere s too many kids in this tub.I quote it for my kids and they look at me in shock and then start giggling. The imagery is just too good. :) " Carrie said.