Where Does it End?

Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

I am a fan of the band Dr. Hook. I took my Pleasure & Pain record to the concert in Cold Lake, followed Ray Sawyer backstage, and he signed it. This could be why I love this week’s Read & Win book so much. The author (and illustrator) of it wrote Dr. Hook songs.

The 40th anniversary edition of Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic) has twelve poems that were not included in the original poetry book. These extra poems include such titles as The Truth about Turtles, Oops!, and Naked Hippo. Covered with a new silver dust jacket, this book has fun rhyming poems like Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too and Boa Constrictor (often acted out and sung at camps and Story Times).

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Characters like Hector the Collector, Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout, and the sister who’s for sale stay with readers forever. Unlike his first collection of poetry about monsters, which has colored illustrations, these poems are accompanied by expressive black and white drawings. They are fun to recite aloud (Spaghetti, spaghetti, all over the place/Up to my elbows-up to my face/Over the carpet and under the chairs/Into the hammock and wound round the stairs/Filling the bathtub and covering the desk/Making the sofa a mad mushy mess), or sing (A long time ago, when the earth was green/And there was more kinds of animals than you’ve ever seen).

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I was read quite a few poems during my school years, but it’s poems from this book I remember the most fondly. Please share them with your children or students if you haven’t already.

To win my copy of this book, and a slightly used Stevie Wonder LP record Talking Book, be the first person to email me your shoe size. Thank-you to April from Bonnyville for writing in with her favourite song. She was the winner of the first Read & Win book and LP.

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