Every Thing On It

Every Thing On It

4.7 8
by Shel Silverstein
     
 

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A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thought and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years . . .

Have you ever read a book with everything on it

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Overview

A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thought and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years . . .

Have you ever read a book with everything on it? Well, here it is, an amazing collection of never-before-published poems and drawings from the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. You will say Hi-ho for the toilet troll, get tongue-tied with Stick-a-Tongue-Out-Sid, play a highly unusual horn, and experience the joys of growing down.

What's that? You have a case of the Lovetobutcants? Impossible! Just come on in and let the magic of Shel Silverstein bend your brain and open your heart.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This posthumous collection of Silverstein's poems and illustrations is not only familiar in design, but chockfull of the whimsical humor, eccentric characters, childhood fantasies, and iconoclastic glee that his many fans adore. Like the boy who orders a hot dog "with everything on it" ("...it came with a parrot,/ A bee in a bonnet,/ A wristwatch, a wrench, and a rake"), there are plenty of surprises in store for readers. Although a few poems feel a tad fragmentary, overall the volume includes some of Silverstein's strongest work, brilliantly capturing his versatility and topsy-turvy viewpoint. The poems take expectedly unexpected twists (Walenda the witch rides a vacuum cleaner); a few are gross ("Let's just say/ I took a dare," reads "Mistake," as Silverstein shows a snake trailing out of a boy's pair of shorts, its tail still entering through his mouth), but many more display Silverstein's clever wordplay, appreciation of everyday events, and understated wisdom. "There are no happy endings./ Endings are the saddest part,/ So just give me a happy middle/ And a very happy start." The silly-for-the-sake-of-silly verses are nicely balanced with sweetly contemplative offerings, including a poignant final poem that offers an invitation to readers: "When I am gone what will you do?/ Who will write and draw for you?/ Someone smarter—someone new?/ Someone better—maybe YOU!" All ages. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Reading a Shel Silverstein book is like visiting an old friend. You know exactly what to expect: the fun, the irreverence, and the silliness. This book has another element: poignancy. This is a posthumous collection and it is sad that there will be no more contributions from this Renaissance man. The very first poem, Years from Now, talks of Silverstein's legacy: "Although I cannot see your face, As you flip these poems awhile, somewhere from some far-off place, I hear you laughing—and I smile." There is also a wistfulness in The Clock Man: " ?How much will you pay for an extra day?' He asked when the time came to die. ?All of the pearls in all of the seas, And all of the stars in the sky.'" There are several "list" poems, Silverstein's device of stringing together series of related, tongue-twisting phrases. Italian Food will certainly win prizes in forensic contests for those who can wrap their mouths around the words, but the Lovebutcants doesn't quite approach the wisdom of Listen to the Mustn'ts. It helps to see rather than hear a Silverstein book for how else can you appreciate the reason that a prince will not seek a giant-footed Cinderella. Some of the poems are adult, such as the hypocrisy of a mink-adorned woman protesting to save the whales in In Her. Don't count on Silverstein for perfect rhymes (or why would an elephant marry a pelican in The Romance because they sort of rhyme). Forgive Shel his rocky meter and his imperfect scan, because these are the legacy of an insanely gifted man. Pick and choose among the jewels he has left: "When I am gone, what will you do? Who will write and draw for you? Someone smarter—someone new? Someone better—maybe YOU?" Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up—Silverstein pushes playful poesy to its limits with drawings that are as strange and wonderful as the artist's earlier collections. The title selection, a list poem imagining a hot dog with literally "everything on it," is an apt metaphor for this posthumous collection of new work that includes poems, riddles, surprise endings, poems of creature foibles and fables, wry social commentary, and, of course, the idiosyncratic line drawings that spell Silverstein. In "Turning Into," a boy swings from a tree shouting "wow," and when he topples to the ground, he finds that his "wow" is now "MOM." In another illustration, a man is so in love with himself that he has twisted his neck to get a better look. Some poems are lyrical: a rainbow thrower "hurls his colors/Cross the sky" while a rainbow catcher waits at "Horizon's gate." Perhaps the most poignant is "The Clock Man," in which the question, "How much will you pay for an extra day?" is answered throughout life's stages. Like the boy holding the delightfully absurd hot dog with everything piled upon it, this collection offers a Silverstein smorgasbord that won't linger on the library shelves.—Tess Pfeifer, Springfield Renaissance School, MA
Kirkus Reviews

A second posthumous collection from the archives of the multitalented Silverstein is definitely a cause for celebration.

"Although I cannot see your face / As you flip these poems awhile, / Somewhere from some far-off place / I hear you laughing—and I smile." This and 129 other poems chosen by Silverstein's family see light here for the first time. Those vexed by the relentless spoonerisms of 2005's Runny Babbit will delight that these buried gems are different each to each. There are tales of garlic breath and child-eating plants (and child-eating land sharks and a horse that's pretty hungry). There are admonitions never to eat a snake (whole) or look up the chimney for Santa. The poems vary in length as much as in subject matter, running from a line or two to several pages. Silverstein's inspired word play and impish sense of humor are in abundant evidence. His signature line drawings accompany many of the poems and complete the jokes of some. If there are one or two that feel a bit flat, the hijinks or silly grossness of the next poem more than make up for them. "When I am gone what will you do? / Who will write and draw for you? / Someone smarter—someone new? / Someone better—maybe YOU!"

Adults who grew up with Uncle Shelby will find themselves wiping their eyes by the time they get to the end of this collection; children new to the master will find themselves hooked. (Poetry. All ages)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061998164
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/20/2011
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
82,074
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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