Shel Silverstein

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by angied5423
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Writers Biographies

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Shel Silverstein

Shel invited children to dream and dare to imagine the impossible, from a hippopotamus sandwich to the longest nose in the world to eighteen flavors of ice cream to Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who would not take the garbage out.

"And now . . .a story about a very strange lion—in fact, the strangest lion I have ever met." So begins Shel Silverstein's very first children's book, Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. It's funny and sad and has made readers laugh and think ever since it was published in 1963.It was followed the next year by four new books. The Giving Tree, is a moving story about the love of a tree for a boy. In an interview published in the Chicago Tribune in 1964, Shel talked about the difficult time he had trying to get the book published. “Everybody loved it, they were touched by it, they would read it and cry and say it was beautiful. But . . . one publisher said it was too short. . . .” Some thought it was too sad.Shel returned to humor that same year with Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? and A Giraffe and a HalfThe fourth book in 1964 was Uncle Shelby’s Zoo: Don’t Bump the Glump! and Other Fantasies, Shel’s only book illustrated in full color. Shel’s second collection of poems and drawings, Where the Sidewalk Ends, was published in 1974.This was followed by The Missing Piece, published in 1976, and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, published in 1981—two companion fables that explore the concept of fulfillment.His next collection of poems and drawings, A Light in the Attic, was published in 1981.The last book that was published before his death in 1999 was Falling Up (1996).Shel Silverstein’s legacy continued with the release of a new work, Runny Babbit. Shel’s first posthumous publication, conceived and completed before his death, was released in March 2005.Then a new collection of Shel Silverstein’s poetry, Every Thing On It, was published in 2011, comprised of 140 never-before-seen poems and drawings that Shel had completed before his death.

Writer'sBiography

Timeline of Publications

Shel Silverstein

Shel asked his readers to put something silly in the world, not be discouraged by the Whatifs, and turn on a light in the attic.

Shel did not set out to write and draw for children. As he told Publishers Weekly in 1975, "When I was a kid . . . I would much rather have been a good baseball player or a hit with the girls. But I couldn’t play ball, I couldn’t dance . . . so I started to draw and write. I was lucky that I didn’t have anyone to copy, be impressed by. I had developed my own style."Shel Silverstein was born in 1930. He grew up in Chicago and created his first cartoons for the adult readers of the Pacific Stars and Stripes when he was a GI in Japan and Korea in the 1950s. He also learned to play the guitar and to write songs.In 1984, Silverstein won a Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for Where the Sidewalk Ends—“Recited, sung and shouted” by the author.He was also an accomplished playwright: His credits include the 1981 hit The Lady or the Tiger and The Devil and Billy Markham.Shel’s books are now published in more than 30 different languages.

Interesting Facts

September 25, 1930-May 10, 1999

WHEN I AM GONEWhen I am gone what will you do?Who will write and draw for you?Someone smarter—someone new?Someone better—maybe YOU!


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