Saturday, December 12, 2020

Review - Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Shel Silverstein
Date: 1974
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
Reading level: C
Book type: illustrated poetry collection
Pages: 176
Format: e-book
Source: library

Where the Sidewalk Ends turns forty! Celebrate with this anniversary edition that features an eye-catching commemorative red sticker. This classic poetry collection, which is both outrageously funny and profound, has been the most beloved of Shel Silverstein's poetry books for generations.

Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. There you'll meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I know I read parts of this when I was a kid because I do remember the poem about the sharp-toothed snail. (I still think that one's hilarious.)

Where the Sidewalk Ends is a nice collection of quirky poems and illustrations that kids are sure to love. Some of them are silly, while some are surprisingly observant. Although this collection is older than I am, much of it has stood the test of time; aside from a few words whose meanings have changed ("gay" and "queer" appear with the meanings of "happy" and "odd", respectively), most of the language is suitable for modern audiences.

I enjoyed this much more than The Giving Tree, though that story is likely far more polarizing than a diverse collection of poems. Most readers will probably be able to find something they like in Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 3/5
Writing & Editing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.57 out of 5 ladybugs

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