Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein
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Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  804,423 ratings  ·  7,387 reviews
If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer,
A wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er,
A magic bean buyer …

Come in … for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. 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

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Hardcover, 176 pages
Published November 20th 1974 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1974)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steve
His parents did well naming him Shel.
He never did care to conform.
What would compel a guy to rebel
If everyone knew him as Norm?
Jennifer
Jan 15, 2009 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: ya, tmi
There's a polar bear - in the fridgedare - he likes it cuz its cold in there!

I wrote a report on this in the 6th grade and I still remember that by heart. That was the year I got braces and Chris N. butted in line when we were coming in from recess and I grabbed his arm and said "No Butting!" and he turned around and punched me in the face. The braces smashed into my lip and it bled so bad! I went to the bathroom with a girlfriend (I can't remember her anymore - isn't that strange?) and she trie...more
Joel
I am crap at reciting from books. Sure, I know your super-famous opening lines and popular misquotations, but I don't really, like, pause in my reading to note a particularly nice turn of phrase so I can commit it to memory.

Which is odd, because I have always had a pretty good memory for the spoken word and, especially, lyrics. When I was little, my parents found this most amusing. They would hear me playing in my bedroom, singing random snatches of commercial jingles and songs from A Prairie Ho...more
Austin
Mar 07, 2008 Austin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Austin by: Almost Everyone
Every child eventually discovers the perverted old man who wrote songs for Johnny Cash, did illustrations for Playboy, appeared on the Dr. Demento show numerous times, and managed to get a few books published along the way.

For some reason, parents never seem to think this creepy old guy who was so fond of children was in any way "disturbing," something I'm continually impressed with in the "ban now, ask questions later" climate of modern culture. If there are people who don't like Shel Silverst...more
Sita Sargeant
Oct 04, 2011 Sita Sargeant rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Sita by: My Dad
Shelves: favourites, own, reviewed
All I can say is that this book is amazing. This was the first book that my dad ever read to me and I loved it. I was re-reading it today and I normally don’t love books I loved when I was little, but this book is different. I still love it, there’s not much else I can say that people haven’t already said, so I am just going to end this super short review now.

P.S. If you haven’t read this before I recommend giving it a go, it is a nice fun, simple read that I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading.
Dunninghousehold
Such an amazing book! This new addition has 12 new poems, and they fit in perfectly with our beloved favorites. The first poem, Invitation, sums the book up perfectly, and remains one of my favorite poems of all time:


Invitation

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!


And once you do, you'll never be the same. Awaken your silly...more
Duchess Nicole
This is officially one of my favorite children's books. I read this with my 10, 9, and 7 year old daughters. We all loved the book so very much, but I was really surprised at just how into it I was...I think the girls got just as big a kick out of watching me laughing maniacally as they got out of the actual book.

I realize that I'm way behind on discovering this author, and so I'm just giving a general 'enjoyment' review. Silverstein not only made me laugh so hard I almost cried, but he also wr...more
midnightfaerie
One of my most favorite authors of my youth, Silverstein does a most excellent job of tapping into the heart of a child. Whether it be a child's heart in an adult or an actual child, the result is the same: pure and simple joy. Silverstein excels not only in rhyming, but his use of adjectives in the English language when describing things such as "icky, stick, peanut butter sandwiches" makes this a joy not only to listen to, but to read out loud as well. I remember having it read to me for the f...more
Gretchen
Mommy and I are going through one poem at a time. So far I like it, but am rather confused by a few!!

6/27/08--My favorite poem so far is Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too! I love how is sounds when Mommy says it.
Meredith
Incredibly entertaining poems. I do a poem a week with my 2nd graders, and our current one is Melinda Mae. Let's see if I can remember it from the top of my head:

"Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae
who ate a monstrous whale?
She thought she could, she said she would
So she started in right at the tail.
And everyone said, 'You're much too small!'
But that didn't bother Melinda at all.
She took little bites and chewed very slow, just like a little girl should...

And in 89 years she ate that whale
Because...more
Erin Dixon
SUMMARY: Where the Sidewalk Ends is a collection of poems by Shel Silverstein. All of the poems have a humorous tone to them, but a little bit of a moral at the end as well. All of the poems are about different scenarios and have no specific order that they need to be read in.
CRITIQUE: The majority of the poems in Where the Sidewalk Ends have some kind of rhyming pattern to them. However, the rhyme is not predictable; it is very fresh. A child reading this book would be able to determine the pat...more
Nick
Shel Silverstein makes me think about the nature v. nurture debate. When I was a kid I really really loved his silly poems and even more so his fascinating, messily detailed illustrations. This interest led me into cartoons and comic books as a young adult and that interest stayed with me into my teens and early 20s. Now as a grownup(?) I'm still drawn to media with a sense of playfulness and whimsy, like digital graphics and street art. Im also always amazed at how good cartoons and animated ch...more
maricar
quirky yet sentimental...

honestly i had reservations about picking up this book, poetry and me not really being the closest of buddies. then of course the fact that this was supposedly meant for toddlers and such (disdainful much??).

it wasn't long before i was shown the depths of my arrogance. hopefully never again...(but who knows).

okay. to the point. i ADORED this book.

a lot of the poetry here are funny (not outright hilarious, more like plain goofy), and yet come to think of it, still some o...more
Sabrina
The back cover of the dust jacket to Where the Sidewalk Ends describes Shel Silverstein as the author of The Giving Tree and other books of prose and poetry. The brief bio then goes on to state that Silverstein "writes songs, draws cartoons, plays the guitar, and has a good time".

Ultimately, that's what Where The Sidewalk Ends is about--having a good time. The opening invitation to the book--a poem--encapsulates the feel and the tone of the book:


If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer...more
Marvin
Look O Look!
I see a book!
A book that gleams
A book that screams
Delightful things
By Shel Silverstein
Poems and drawings
That are not boring
They speak to me
Like a tapestry
Of childhood joys
For girls and boys
Not just for kids
Adults will dig
The funny rhymes
of forgotten times
When they were young
And life was fun
So turn the page
Forget your age
When the book ends
You can start again
And follow the bend
Where the sidewalk ends
Tim "The Enchanter"
This is my second time through this book of classic poems by Shel Siverstein. This time around I read it to my girls (ages 4 and 6). While the 4 year old didn't understand many of the poems, she was entertained nonetheless. The silly pictures helped in that regard. It was fun to read them to my 6 year old and watch her try and work out what the poem was really saying. Occasionally, there were poems that I didn't like for my children, i.e. "who ate the baby". For the most part they were age appro...more
DJ Harris
Shel Silverstein never disappoints!

Poem after poem, he takes simple kid-friendly wonders and fears and creates clear imagery using rhyme, rhythm and cadence. His rhymes are fun and entertaining! This book is a great way to entertain children and get them interested in reading!

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
laysia!!!!
what i think about the book is every time i read it i think about myself growing up writing a kids poetry book. i would like to become a poet and i just cant stop reading this book is a great inspiration to people all over that would like to be a kids poet someday i hope to at least publish one poetry book for kids.i very much enjoyed the book.
Deb
Jan 20, 2013 Deb rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: poems
“If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar. A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!”

If you are any of the above-er, Shel Silverstein’s warm, open invitation into the pages of his second collection of poetry for children is for you. Let your imagination runaway with the help of short and to the point funny descriptions of everyday activities and three page narra...more
Kathy Ramirez
I read this book while during the time between elementary to middle school, and I think it is a wonderful collection of poems. The poems are excellent to keep the attention of students in a classroom, or for just some simple student silent reading as well. This book is almost a classic in my opinion because I have seen it so many times throughout my education. The illustrations and the way the language is used in this collection of poems is excellent and inventive. This book is wonderful for a c...more
Preeti
I got into the Shel Silverstein craze after reading The Missing Piece Meets the Big O online. Good stuff. Fun books, some of them with good messages.

This particular book of his is a collection of poems, some with accompanying illustrations (he does both) that are "at once outrageously funny and profound." Some are just so weird, you have to laugh, or at least make a funny face because you have no idea what you just read. Some of them have messages embedded within (for example, why you shouldn't...more
Clare Wojda
1. Genre - Poetry
2. Awards - George C. Stone Center for Children's Books Recognition of Merit Award, Golden Archer Award for Intermediate
3. Grade Level - 3-4
4. This is such a great tool for the classroom! A way to utilize would be to read the students a few poems from the book, all the while asking them what they think is going to happen in the poem or why a certain wording worked. I would point out the tools Silverstein used such as alliteration, metaphor, simile, and onomatopoeia and ask the s...more
James
Unlike many children, including my wife, I didn't grow up reading Shel Silverstein. This is both sad and joyous. Sad because I didn't read him sooner, but joyous because I get to discover him fully now as an adult. Nothing short of brilliant. I especially love his more subversive pieces that take aim at complacency and thoughtlessness and other symptoms of ignorance that are too present in our culture.
Emily May
“I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.”
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. One of those books that can be enjoyed by children and adults depending on how deeply you dive into the meaning of the stories. Incredibly imaginative and very well done.
Louise
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is a great book. I've read it along time ago with my sister. She used to read me the boook when i was younger but I never used to understand everything she used to read. And I have decided to read it again because it reminded me of old times and i actually wanted to understand the poems. When I read the book it makes me happy. It is written in poetry with pictures to go along with it. There are many different poems and there are a lot thats what i lik...more
Hannah Kersting
Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein is my absolute favorite poetry compilation ever. This ingenious book, with absolutely hysterical illustrations is perfect for children of all ages. Where the Sidewalk Ends is one of those books that, "Never goes out of Style." 20 Years later I still have this book on my bookshelf and still enjoy reading it. The poetry is perfect for children and the book contains small poems and long poems, great for all ages and all reading levels. The poems are just...more
Ronyell
“Where the Sidewalk Ends” is another book of poems from the creative mind of Shel Silverstein, who is the popular author of “A Light in the Attic.” This book details poems about silly people and animals doing crazy activities. Even though this book has some suggestive content, children will easily be delighted in this book for many years.

Shel Silverstein has done an awesome job with both illustrating and writing this book of poems. Shel Silverstein’s writing is witty and creative as uses bizarr...more
Clark Hallman
Where the Sidewalk Ends: the poems and drawings of Shel Silverstein – My family has had the hardback edition of the late Mr. Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends since 1974. Of course, we have all read and enjoyed much of it over the years. However, I decided to read it from beginning to end and I found that to be a very pleasurable experience. The reader meets many strange, silly, magical, happy, angry, selfish, generous, enchanting, rude, engaging, disgusting, and otherwise endowed characters...more
Runa
Feb 04, 2009 Runa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Like this amazing book actually needs any more praise showered on it. (Well, it's going to get it anyways, so it had better learn to live with it!) Can anyone say anything negative about this book? (well...other than the book banners, but we all know very well what humongous Delusionals they are.) Anyways, everyone's read this book (and if you haven't, then dear, I really do pity you and your lost childhood) and everyone knows how amazing it is. The second and third and fourth rereads only give...more
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Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein 10 75 Sep 02, 2013 08:16PM  
Everyone Is Talking About This Book! 5 80 Aug 05, 2013 03:44PM  
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Shel Silverstein was the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.
More about Shel Silverstein...
The Giving Tree A Light in the Attic Falling Up The Missing Piece Every Thing on It

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“I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.”
915 likes
“My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white. My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I'm told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, but its silver when its wet, and all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.” 619 likes
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