Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shel Silverstein

I've finally finished reading a biography of Shel Silverstein called "A Boy Named Shel" by Lisa Rogak.

While shopping in the bookstore one day, I saw the book and just grabbed it and tossed it in with the other things I was buying and I have to say since I've been reading the biography, I've been completely obsessed with Shel.

A couple of weeks ago, I rode my bike over to the local library and checked out a ton of his books (the ones I don't currently own) like "A Light in the Attic," "Falling Up," "The Missing Piece," "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O," "Don't Bump the Glump!," "A Giraffe and a Half," "Lafcadio, The Lion Who Shot Back," and "Runny Babbit." I tried finding "Different Dances" and some of his other books, but the library didn't have them.

I saw Shel Silverstein as a children's book author and illustrator.
He, in fact, was an American poet, songwriter, musician, composer, cartoonist, screenwriter and author of children's books.

I did not know he wrote a ton of songs like "A Boy Named Sue, "Cover of the Rolling Stone," "The Unicorn" and "Never Bite a Married Woman on the Thigh."

I can remember my dad walking around the house singing "A Front Row Seat to Hear Ol' Johnny Sing." I never knew it was a Shel Silverstein song.

Shel wrote more than a dozen albums, four movie scores, short stories, screenplays, and well over 100 one-act plays.

He was a creative genius and after reading "A Boy Named Shel," I'm sad that I didn't know more about him while he was alive.

I extremely admire him for doing black and white illustrations for his children's books. I absolutely love it!

I highly recommend this biography.
I also urge you to pick up a couple of Shel's books and give them a read if you haven't lately.
My favorites are "The Giving Tree," "The Missing Piece," "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O" and, of course, his poetry books.

Shel Silverstein
September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999

The Shel Silverstein Archive
Lisa Rogak


  1. One of my favorites as a kid. I do believe it's time to revisit his collections. thanks

  2. There is a series of one act plays called an adult eveining with Shel Silverstein If you ever see it at a local theater group SEE IT I never laughed as hard. The group we were with all said it was the best night of live theater we have had. Kathy in Texas

  3. Thanks for that. I'll go look that book up now.

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  5. "He looks more like a burglar or a pirate than a person who should be wirting books for kids."

    The Diary of a Winpy Kid
    The Last Straw

  6. he's a genious and so outrageously funny! I always thought of him as a songwriter. Haven't been reading shel's children's books as a child and was so surprised to discover that it was his primary rise to fame. I knew and loved him in my youth for his wicked and clever songs performed by dr. hook and himself both - only these last few years diod I find out that many, many fine artists have covered his songs. I can't think of anything better to do that a high input of silverstein's wit if you're grumpy one day. His books are fabulous. I have bought several. Am anxiously awaiting my second edition of the giving tree , including a cd where he reads it aloud. Have all his albums, that are still available. I cannot recommend him enough!

  7. May I also recommend "who wrote that" - shel silverstein - an interesting read about truly fine human being