Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book
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Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  2,042 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Writing for an adult audience, the popular children's book author presents a humorous satire of alphabet books...Title: .Uncle Shelby's Abz Book..Author: .Silverstein, Shel..Publisher: .Simon & Schuster..Publication Date: .1985/09/01..Number of Pages: ...Binding Type: .PAPERBACK..Library of Congress: .85014242
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 9th 1985 by Touchstone (first published 1961)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreMe Talk Pretty One Day by David SedarisThe Princess Bride by William Goldman
Best Humorous Books
476th out of 2,457 books — 4,810 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Outsiders by S.E. HintonOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken KeseyCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Best Books of the Decade: 1960's
204th out of 622 books — 766 voters

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Jan 30, 2008 Beverly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the elderly and children
This is an amazing book, Uncle Shelby's Abz Book: A Primer for Tender Young Minds (1961) and an amazing event in publishing. I bought this book for my sons at a local bookstore around 1979. It was squeezed in with all the other picture books on the shelf in the children's section. I thought it looked interested because it had a matte brown cover, the color of cardboard, with simple line-drawings that attracted my interest. Something different, I thought. But I didn't realize exactly 'how' differ...more
Jenny Schmenny
The first book I ever bought with my own money, back when I was about seven years old. Sick, subversive, whimsical, horribly inappropriate, and illustrated with delightfully loose line drawings, as are all of Silverstein's books. My copies has little drawings I made on some of the entries that I took half-seriously, or didn't understand at all.
We all know what it's about, and we all know it's brilliant, witty, sublime, subversive, and oh-so-many other superlatives (yes, I'm using "subversive" as a superlative) so I won't really go into all that...but I will say that I surprised at how many of the other reviews say things like "definitely not for children" or "they were right to give this an 'adults only' sticker" or "not for kids" or "honestly, you would ever give this to a child."

Balderdash! Hooey. Spit-on-able comments. This is prec...more
Shel Silverstein's books are not always meant for children, though I am strongly tempted to give this one to kids. This is the alphabet book uptight parents fear, full of sarcastic, vicious and just plain bad advice for kids. L is for lollipop sure enough, and L is also for lye. If you want a lollipop tell your mom you've drunk all the lye (a little white lye) and when the doctor has pumped out your stomach he'll give you a nice red lollipop. And the alphabet's out of order to book.
Dec 06, 2007 Dacia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: humor
Even thought this says "Adults Only" I used to sneak it off the bookshelf and laugh at it when I was a kid (like 6 or 7). I re-read the whole thing when I was in my teens and found it even more hilarious. It's a fun little read, and comes from the very twisted (but very funny) mind of "Uncle Shelby". It's a far cry from his more heartstopping books like "The Giving Tree" and more along the lines of his silly poems - only for adults! Pick it up, you won't be sorry!
This guy is damn funny. I thought Go the fuck to sleep was first of it's kind.

But Silverstein has done some wonders for adults to enjoy and to hide deep inside so their children won't see it.
llvllash!d _aaE
alefyaaaaaaaaaaaaaay amoo shelB

ketaaB ke age man vaasat bekhoonam
ghash mikoni
vaa3 bozorgaas
dast e bache nade
magar in ke betoonin az pa3 bache he bar Baay

Even though this book says that it is for adults kids can enjoy it too. This book would be a great book to use for kids in third or fourth grade. I would use this book to introduce a unit on writing children stories. I would assign the kids to write the simplest form of children’s book: an ABC book. This book would be able to show the kids that there can be more to an ABC book then A is for apple. Hopefully this book would strike an interest in the children and they would want to write an ABC bo...more
"J is for Junkie.
Do you know
what a junkie is?
Ask your mommy.
If she will not tell you,
ask your daddy.
If he will not tell you,
go outside and tell everybody
that your daddy is a junkie."

- Shel Silverstein, Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book

Delightfully impressive, naughty and subversive. I just love Shel Silverstein! I've always thought of him as the American counterpart to England's Roald Dahl - someone who writes supposedly for children much of the time, whose POV is dark, perhaps a little wicked, and suffu...more
Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book, Shel Silverstein, 1961
عنوان: «ال‍فبای انگلیسی عمو شلبی: کتاب پایه، ویژه ذهنهای جوان و لطیف»، اثر: «شل سیل‍ور استاین»؛ ترجمه: «رضی خدادادی (هیرمندی)»؛ ‏مشخصات نشر: «تهران، نشر هستان، ۱۳۷۹، در ۸۷ ص. مصور، شابک: 9646965059»؛ فارسی - انگلیسی، خلاصه: آموزش‌ الفبای انگلیسی و بکارگیری هر یک‌ از حروف در یک‌ کلمه همراه با جملاتی در ارتباط با آن‌ کلمه به‌صورت شعر یا داستان کوتاه
Merkin read this to me for our first date. We'd been talking on the phone, and he asked if he could come over and read me a bedtime story. We found a couch in the study section of my dorm, and he read it aloud to me. It was an awesome first date. I'd never seen anything so funny in my life.
Jaina Bee
May 06, 2008 Jaina Bee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: very young children
Recommended to Jaina Bee by: thanks, mom!
Fortunately, I read this as a child, long before it was designated "for adults only." I believe this malevolent, dangerous little book should be required reading for everyone under 10 years old. So there!
Amber the Human
A children's book ... not a children's book ... which one is it? Well, I wouldn't shelve it in the XZ section, as the LA public library does, because it is not a book for very young children at all. But I remember reading it when I was a bit older - eight, nine? And enjoying it.

My favorite page:

"O is for OZ. Do you want to visit the wonderful far-off Land of OZ where the Wizard lives and scarecrows can dance and the road is made of yellow bricks and everything is emerald green? Well, you can't b...more
For one, it was amusing. A story written for kids that has a basic wit and sarcasm all through and through. Two, I actually found it hilarious and a bit ludicrous aswell. HAHAH. Whenever I get kids, I shall read this to them and see how perplexed and confused their faces are. Not a total waste of time and money, that's for sure.
I loved Shel Silverstein books as a child. So when I saw that he had written an "adult" book, I wanted to check it out. After reading it, labeling this book as for adults seems like something that the lawyers did so that they wouldn't get sued because someone tried something in the book. While this book isn't suited for young children, I think that older kids who can take a joke and aren't going to just do something because they read it in a book would be the ideal audience for this book. That s...more
Jessica Delgado
This book is so hilarious- I am a big fan of the macabre humor and may not put this in the hands of many children. Perhaps it is directed towards older children, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Heather Tiedtke
This was a book my Granny had and I remember it as hilarious! I love the creativity of this book and I think more children should have fun memories like I was blessed to have by this book!
This is uncle Shelby's book for adult I think.
Made me laugh out loud this morning :))

G is for Gigolo.
See the gigolo.
A gigolo is a musical instrument.
The next time your mommy goes shopping ask her to buy you a gigolo.
She will think you are very cute and she will write it in to the Reader's Digest and they will print it and send you money.
I found this book as I poked around a used book one summer morning, and even though I was on a budget, I couldn't not buy it. So I brought it home and shared it with my roommates - one of whom, it turns out, used to read this book to children at the daycare where she used to work.

Though Silverstein's other work are more famous than this one, I have to say that this is probably my favorite book of his. He's created an entire world in the pages of this book, one that everybody will enjoy. So read...more
Naeem Nedaee
Mommy loves the baby more than she loves you!
If you love Shel Silverstein, which you undoubtedly do, but have wondered what he might do if writing for adults, give this a peek. You can read it in about 15 minutes. While the content is geared toward adults, it's addressed to kids, and it offers such advice as stealing money from your parents to keep them from fighting over money, playing hopscotch with actual scotch (drink some, it'll help you hop a little higher!), and setting fires so you can meet those super cool firemen, because they on...more
Jennifer Benfield Johnson
Just like the title says, this book is not for children. It looks like it is for children in every aspect but it tells the reader to do "bad" and rude things that you don't want your children to do. It is meant to be funny and playful in true Shel Silverstein style. As usual the illustrations are hilarious and original. I first read this book when I was about 11 yrs old and I actually still have it. I was a mature child so I knew not to do anything Uncle Shelby told me to do.
Leslie Rock
This book is originally written for adults but t could also be used with older students during a writing unit. Someone else commented that this book could be used with fourth and fifth grade students to write their own "ABC" children's book in a way that is different than just "A is for apple". I think that's such a wonderful idea and I would use it for creative writing as well. I believe students should be exposed goal kinds of literature like this.
Skylar Burris
Delightfully wicked. Although this says "for adults only," in truth, the satirical barbs are not all that terribly different than those he places in his children's poems in books such as "Where the Sidewalk Ends"—it's just that those poems can be understood on two levels, by children and by adults, and these little tidbits…they would only confuse a young child and perhaps lead to untoward behavior.
No child should be allowed to read this and no immature adult should either. It's wickedly delightful and amusing, but dangerous in the hands of the under-aged. Ernie lives in the ceiling. Can you throw Ernie and egg? Ernie loves eggs.... Do you know how to scrape dried egg yolk and white off the ceiling? If not, hide your copy of this book in a secret spot that your children can't reach.
Apr 28, 2011 Nina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: friends with a sense of humor
I loved this book. I no longer own a copy, though. I bought it when I worked in a bookstore, and every time i bought it, someone would borrow it and love it so much they wouldn't return it. I finally gave up and resigned myself to it living in my memory instead of on my bookshelf. Shel is one of the people I would most like to have dinner with (you know, living or no longer living).
Megan Ender
My Favorite letter in this book is L:


Diane ~Firefly~
I LOVE this book! It is extremely funny and not for children. Uncle Shelby is not too fond of children and tries to get them into trouble throughout this primer. From having the alphabet out of order to telling the kids he hopes their parents didn't steal the quarter he stuck on the page, this is the book you never want to fall into your own kid's hands.
my grandma bought my sister and i this book for christmas in 1987...not realizing that it is NOT a children's book. we thought it was the funniest thing we had ever seen. "Uncle Shel" nearly convinced us to give poor daddy a haircut, and feed the genie in the ceiling eggs... the book 'mysteriously dissapeared' sometime around New Year's 1988.
This alphabet book comes with a disclaimer—it’s for ‘Adults Only.’ The text is directed with tongue-in-cheek to kids, telling them to do ‘naughty’ things and includes stuff like a kidnapper with a lollipop. It instructs kids to drink ink and tells them to call the police if their parents try to “burn this book.” It’s ridiculously funny.
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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...
Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein The Giving Tree A Light in the Attic Falling Up The Missing Piece

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