Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings
HarperCollins, 2002 (1974)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
he title of this collection of Shel Silverstein's illustrated whimsy comes from a verse of the same name, '
There is a place where the sidewalk ends / And before the street begins ...
', a place well known to this author, who shares with children its riches of imagination.
ome of his poems are funny and delightfully silly, like
Oh gee, / It's up to my knee
(Peggy Ann goes through a long, long list of excuses for avoiding school, but what day do you think it is?); and then there's a child's horrendous fate after
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out
The Planet of Mars
is hilariously topical and I've always enjoyed hearing the Irish Rovers sing
A long time ago when the earth was green
'), but never knew that Silverstein wrote the words.
hough the silly stuff is great fun, I liked the more serious verses even more, for their powerful messages. How about playing
Hug O' War
, where '
everyone cuddles, / And everyone wins
' instead of tug o' war? Silverstein tells us to
Listen to the Mustn'ts
Then listen close to me- / Anything can happen, child, / ANYTHING can be.
' And he explains that there's
between people in the dark, '
So maybe the way / To make everything right / Is for God to just reach out / And turn off the light!
hose are my favorites, but there's lots of choice, feel free to pick your own - you'll linger over the verses in
Where the Sidewalk Ends
, and kids will clamor to re-read them often.
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