Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and
Drawings of Shel Silverstein by Shel Silverstein
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Shel Silverstein shook the staid world of children's poetry in 1974 with the publication of this collection, and things haven't been the same since. More than four and a half million copies of Where the Sidewalk Ends have been sold, making it the bestselling children's poetry book ever.
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With this and his other poetry collections (A Light in the Attic and Falling Up), Silverstein reveals his genius for reaching kids with silly words and simple pen-and-ink drawings. What child can resist a poem called "Dancing Pants" or "The Dirtiest Man in the World"? Each of the 130 poems is funny in a different way, or touching ... or both. Some approach naughtiness or are a bit disgusting to squeamish grown-ups, but that's exactly what kids like best about Silverstein's work. Jim Trelease, author of The New Read-Aloud Handbook, calls this book "without question, the best-loved collection of poetry for children." (Ages 4 to 10)
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