Where the Sidewalk Ends (HB)
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 is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist. Shel Silverstein's masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.
Shel Silverstein's very first children's books, Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back was published in 1963, and followed the next year by two other books. The first, The Giving Tree, is a moving story about the love of a tree for a boy; it took four years before Harper Children's books decided to publish it. Shel returned to humour that same year with A Giraffe and a Half. His first collection of poems and drawings, Where the Sidewalk Ends, appeared in 1974, and his second, A Light in the Attic, in 1981. He grew up in Chicago and created his first cartoons for the adult readers of Pacific Stars and Stripes, when he was a G.I. in Japan and Korea in the 1950s. He also learned to play the guitar and to write songs, including "A Boy Named Sue" for Johnny Cash and "The Cover of the Rolling Stone" sung by Dr. Hook. In 1984, Silverstein won a Grammy Award for Best Children's Album for Where the Sidewalk Ends -- "recited, sung and shouted" by the author. He was also an accomplished playwright, including the 1981 hit, "The Lady or the Tiger Show." His latest collection, and his last book to be published before he died in 1999, was Falling Up (1996).