Who is Shel Silverstein? We happily announce that he is KidsPlay’s author of the month, creator of the StoryWalk® selection, The Giving Tree. “Uncle Shelby” as he often called himself, described the irony of words and life—for example, asking for a hot dog with everything on it can be a big mistake, accidentally garnishing your hot dog with everything from parrots to front porch swings.
He invited us into the humor of imaginary situations that are “almost real:”
- eating a stack of pancakes,
- keeping a snowball as a sleep pet overnight,
- diving into a swimming pool that is surprisingly empty!
He also has a creative way of introducing children to BIG adult topics such as war in “Hug of War,” freedom with consequences in “Eight Balloons,” and unselfish giving of yourself regardless of consequences in The Giving Tree.
When I am lucky enough to share a Silverstein book or poem with a group of children/adults, there is usually a smile and chuckle and approving nod for those familiar and a delightful “read some more” from those who discover his writing for the first time.
Born in Chicago, he studied music and became a respected musician. However, his writing for children has made him a popular worldwide author. His books have sold over 20 million copies and have been translated into over 30 languages. (Wikipedia)
We hope you enjoy our story walk for the month of November; give some thought to the relationship of the boy and the Giving Tree; have some good talks about being unselfish, pros and cons.
I am sure that Uncle Shelby would also invite you to have fun with his concise lines, humor, and illustration… discover Shel Silverstein here and then in libraries, bookstores, and online! Perhaps, he will give you a chuckle or grin, and an enjoyable way to think about big ideas and to hear the delightful sound of words!
- Patty Cassella, Learning Experience Specialist