HarperCollins, 2011. 978-0061998164
Synopsis: Have you ever read a book with everything on it? Well, here it is, an amazing collection of never-before-published poems and drawings from the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. You will say Hi-ho for the toilet troll, get tongue-tied with Stick-a-Tongue-Out-Sid, play a highly unusual horn, and experience the joys of growing down. – from Amazon.com
Why I picked it up: Shel Silverstein’s books were pretty much a classroom staple when I was in elementary school and even though they’re aimed at children, I’ve never outgrown them.
Why I finished it: Silverstein has a wonderful gift for portraying a child-like wonder and silliness in his works that transcends the generations. He combines the literal with the absurd, the realistic with the fantastic, much the way we did when we were young. I don’t know of many other poets that would write about the marriage of an elephant and a pelican (nothing rhymes with either ‘elephant’ or ‘pelican’, you see) and make it just as logical as a hair dryer suddenly working in the opposite direction or holding toes instead of hands. Juvenile? Yes. Fun and witty? Definitely. While there may not be some sort of deeper meaning in his works, there is a message that tells the reader to always remember what it is like to be young, to remember what it is to be a child, to remember what we have had done for us and what we can do for others in return, to remember the power of friendship, of laughter, of a smile, and the notion that we are never too old to be young again.
Other related materials: Falling Up by Shel Silverstein; A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein; Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein; A Giraffe and a Half by Shel Silverstein; The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein; The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein; The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein; Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back by Shel Silverstein; Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein; My Dog Does My Homework! edited by Jon Scieszka; The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury compiled by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Meilo So