Katie's Reviews > Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
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's review
Dec 07, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry-books

Where the Sidewalk Ends
5 out of 5 stars

Silverstein has the gifted ability to create rhymes and match them with sometimes ridiculous pictures, enrapturing his audience. After thumbing through the book, I found myself laughing after reading the text and looking at the illustrations. The illustrations help to add clarity to the poems, and they are created with ink in an almost cartoon-like fashion. My favorite aspect of the book was that the poems rhymed, and Silverstein has the capability of combining two seemingly unrelated words to make a humorous poem. For example, he rhymes vacation with vaccination and Caribbean with amphibian. There was not a unifying theme throughout the book, except for humor. Most of the poems were easy to imagine as concrete images because of the exaggerated illustrations. Some of the poems were nonsensical, such as a boy thinking a plunger was a hat and a man growing a beard so long that he uses it as his clothes. However, other poems were able to relay valuable messages to children, such as not to pick their noses.
I gave the book five out of five stars, because of the laughable illustrations and creative text. The reading level for this book would be between kindergarten and fourth grade. The younger grades would have the poems read to them. I think children could connect with the humorous but meaningful messages, such as not to pick their noses and that selling their siblings is a bad idea. Two subject areas into which the book could be integrated could be language arts and science. For a science lesson, students could read the poem about the planet of mars. This poem talks about what the people are like on Mars. We could discuss why it is not possible for life to be supported on Mars.
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