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

4.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,304 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
Full of wit and twisted humor this notorious Shel Silverstein classic is a book you won't want your children to read!

Written for adults only, Shel Silverstein—the popular children's book author—presents a humorous satire of alphabet books filled with ABC lessons parents would never want their children to learn.
Paperback, 80 pages
Published September 9th 1985 by Touchstone (first published 1961)
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Best Books of the Decade: 1960's
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 30, 2008 Beverly rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Aug 17, 2007 Jenny Schmenny rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 08, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 21, 2009 Keith rated it it was amazing
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 liked it
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!
Jun 02, 2012 Prashant rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
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
Mar 16, 2007 llvllash!d _aaE rated it it was amazing
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

Cole Hoffman
Nov 18, 2014 Cole Hoffman rated it it was amazing
Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book is a play on every other ABC book about there. Every page there is a new letter being talk about, only most of the letters are described in a negative light, such a S is for Stanley the murderer.
This book is defiantly geared more towards adults. It is extremely sarcastic and most of the sarcasm would not be understood by children. It is brilliantly put together and the images are highly humorous. The entire book looks like it was written in pen just for you and it is a o
Feb 20, 2011 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-books
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
Jack Lane
Dec 30, 2014 Jack Lane rated it it was amazing
Definately not for kids. But I stumbled on a copy as a kid. My sisters eyelashes grew back eventually
Sheyda Heydari Shovir
Mar 27, 2015 Sheyda Heydari Shovir rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
In love with it, officially.
May 30, 2014 Anne rated it it was amazing
"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 suff
Ahmad Sharabiani
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، ، در 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
Dharia Scarab
1st found this book when I was a teenage, it was funny then and funny now.

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if
Jan 20, 2011 foo4luv rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-together, humor
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
Jan 17, 2016 Jaina Bee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: very young children
Recommended to Jaina Bee by: thanks, mom!
Don't listen to the grown ups, children, ALL KIDS WHO READ THIS BOOK GET A FREE PONY!!!! And a parade! And a million dollars, pasted into the back of the book. (Hope your mom didn't take it out and keep it)
Michelle Johnson
We are HUGE fans of Shel Silverstein. We've read them at bedtime, during the day, at the kitchen table. They are always fun and silly and delightful.

This book. No.

I made a big deal out of it being just for parents so I'd get the kids curious about it, knowing it was a good author that they recognized.

However, within a few pages, I realized I should have pre-read it. I began skipping pages.

The truly shocking page was where he was joking about going with kidnappers and eating lollipops they offer.
Dec 28, 2014 Glennis rated it really liked it
I had a friend describe this book to me years ago and I decided to finally find a copy and read it. This is not the book a parent would buy their kid to read but more of a book a aunt or uncle mad at their sibling would get their niece or nephew. This would also make a great shower gift for the laughs. The book covers the alphabet but not in the correct order and gives bad advice to kids that would get them into lots of trouble. Overall I got several laughs out of the book but I will not be putt ...more
Amber the Human
Jan 10, 2014 Amber the Human rated it really liked it
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
Carissa Burks
Oct 02, 2014 Carissa Burks rated it it was amazing
This book is downright hilarious. Full of whit and twisted humor it is a must read for any adult. Take a trip into Uncle Shelby’s mind, which is full of bad and twisted advice for children and where the ABCs aren’t necessarily in order. It’s a quick read and fairly entertaining as well. Definitely recommend this book if you’re in need of a pick-me-up.
Aug 28, 2014 Tays rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 07, 2016 Fishface rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, children-s, poetry
FAB.U.LUSS! An excellent how-to for children who want to get ever deeper into trouble with their parents. An excellent reality check for parents who need reminding that their children -- especially if this book fell into their hands -- could be much, much worse.
Rosa Pacheco
Jan 03, 2015 Rosa Pacheco rated it it was amazing
one of my favorites was this :

B is for baby

See the baby

The baby is fat

The baby is pink

The baby can cry

The baby can laugh

See the baby play

Play, baby, play.

Pretty, pretty, baby.

Mommy loves the baby more than she loves you.
Jan 15, 2012 Holly rated it it was ok
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
Nov 25, 2014 Christia rated it it was amazing
This book never gets old, and believe it or not, it's actually for adults. Though, some more dark and twisted but good-hearted parents could still give it to the children of other adults in your life... I'm going to buy this for my new nephew.
Bridget Madden
Sep 28, 2014 Bridget Madden rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
It's been years since I last read this book. In actuality, I own it, but can't find it right now. Definitely not for kids but still very humorous...if you remember reading it that is. Since I can't find my copy, I've been looking up quotes via google.
Mar 07, 2015 Bobbi rated it it was amazing
This is a very fun book to read with a child who is old enough to know better than to throw eggs on the ceiling. My kids got a huge kick out of Uncle Shelby telling kids to do all sorts of things that they should never do.
Menaka Sankaralingam
Dec 09, 2014 Menaka Sankaralingam rated it really liked it
An interesting example of subversive writing.
Wicked and clever at the same time.
Read the complete review at Discover Shel Silverstein
Jessica Delgado
Aug 10, 2014 Jessica Delgado rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 20, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading this out loud to my 11 year old and we both shared several laughs throughout. The naughty and mischievous humor is unlike anything I've ever read. Pick it up!
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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.
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