Sabrina's Reviews > Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
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Jul 30, 08

Read in July, 2008

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, 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!

The sense of playfulness and silliness that is evident in most of Silverstein's works for children is ever present in Where the Sidewalk Ends. It's a fun read; it's especially fun read aloud. You just can't help but smile at characters like "Ickle Me", "Pickle Me", and "Tickle Me" or "Sara Cynthia Sylvia Stout Who Would Not Take The Garbage Out". And Silverstein's cartoon drawings to accompany the poem within the text simply bring those poems into a life of their own.

But more than simply reveling in silliness, which is quite an awesome thing to do, "Where the Sidewalk Ends" subtly teaches life lessons, as can be seen in samples such as "LISTEN TO THE MUSTN'TS":


Listen to the MUSTN'TS child,
Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON'TS
List to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me--
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.



5 out of 5 stars
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