Monday, October 17, 2011

Every Thing On It

Booklist (September 1, 2011 (Vol. 108, No. 1))

Grades 2-7. Members of Shel Silverstein’s family have selected poems and drawings from his personal archive for a volume to follow Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), A Light in the Attic (1981), and Falling Up (1996). The result is unmistakably Silverstein, with insouciant rhymes, playful scansion, furious humor, and the odd scatological reference, packaged with a tight typeface and whimsical ink drawings set against ample white space. The poems, ranging from two-line zingers to three-page odes, cover a lot of emotional territory, examining the many difficulties and joys of being young and growing up. Moments of melancholy and nostalgia balance the otherwise sharp frivolity. Fans of Silverstein’s oeuvre will find more to appreciate, while newcomers who have yet to discover his individual tone will be prompted to seek out the classics.

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