Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings

( 230 )

Overview

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...

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Overview

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. This special edition has twelve extra poems that did not appear in the original collection.

Irreverent, hilarious and wildly popular, Silverstein’s collection of verse is hard to put down. His black pen drawings are an integral part of the poems, which range from funny and gross to introspective or tender. Silverstein is a master at tickling the funny bone, and his book is definitely not just for kids!

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Editorial Reviews

Reading Teacher.
An ideal book for teachers to have handy . . . If you want to ungloom your day, start Where the Sidewalk Ends.
Reading Teacher
An ideal book for teachers to have handy . . . If you want to ungloom your day, start Where the Sidewalk Ends.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060572341
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/20/2004
  • Edition number: 30
  • Pages: 183
  • Sales rank: 418
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein is the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

Shel Silverstein is the author-artist of many beloved books of prose and poetry. He was a cartoonist, playwright, poet, performer, recording artist, and Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated songwriter.

Biography

If there is such a thing as a "bad boy of children's literature," it would have to be Shel Silverstein. Though often compared to Dr. Seuss for his ability to blend humor and nonsense into irresistible rhymes, Silverstein also ventured into macabre territory that the good Doctor wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot Sneetch. Silverstein broached such unsavory topics as nose-picking, the consumption of children, and winds so strong they could decapitate a man right out from under his hat.

It's a testament to Silverstein's abilities as a cartoonist and storyteller that he was able to endow such subjects with just the right silliness and humor, endearing him to both children and adults. In collections such as the classic Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up, Silverstein makes poems into page-turners -- aided in no small part by his grungy, whimsical black-and-white drawings. He also displays a tenderhearted understanding for kids' fears and peccadilloes; one poem in A Light in the Attic, for example, all but endorses nailbiting: "It's a nasty habit, but ... I have never ever scratched a single soul."

A lifelong writer and illustrator, Silverstein had been a cartoonist for an army newspaper in Korea in the 1950s, and then a contributor to magazines. Like many succesful writers for children, Silverstein never planned to author children's books. Ironically, his first attempt at the genre -- the book that established the one-time Playboy cartoonist as a school library fixture -- is something of an anomaly in his ouevre: The Giving Tree. This bittersweet story of a tree that ultimately sacrifices itself -- down to the stump -- to the boy she loves over the course of his life was initially rejected by Silverstein's editor. Of course, it has gone on to be a great, if sentimental, success. But it was Where the Sidewalk Ends, Silverstein's straightforward collection of crooked poems, that cemented his place as a must-read for the young and young at heart. Silverstein bristled at comparisons to fellow "nonsense poet" Edward Lear, preferring instead to cite his former teacher, Robert Cosbey, as an influence.

It's worth looking at some of Silverstein's less well-known picture books, such as Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros? and Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back, as examples of how funny (and how subversive) Silverstein could be. In Lafcadio, the ultimate anti-hunting story, a lion learns to become such a good marksman that he provides "hunter rugs" for his fellow lions and ends up touring as a celebrity. Lafcadio soon gets bored with his opulent life, and what used to be thrilling no longer is: "This morning I went up and down in the elevator 1,423 times," he cries at one point. "IT'S OLD STUFF!"

In later years, Silverstein turned more attention to dramatic writing. Titles such as The Lady and the Tiger, Wild Life and The Devil and Billy Markham were produced with varying degrees of success, and some are still being staged by small theater groups. Silverstein also wrote a well-received screenplay, Things Change, with pal David Mamet in 1988.

Still, Silverstein's poetry is what remains his most popular contribution. His verse gave kids permission to be a little grown-up for a while, and (just as importantly) let adults experience the not-always-simple perspective of children.

Good To Know

Silverstein was a soldier in the U.S. Army in Japan and Korea in the '50s and drew cartoons for Stars and Stripes, the American military publication. His next cartooning gig was for Playboy.

Silverstein wrote several songs. His country-western song "A Boy Named Sue" was a hit for Johnny Cash in 1969. His song for Postcards From the Edge, "I'm Checkin' Out," was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Sheldon Allan Silverstein (full name)
      Shel Silverstein
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 25, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Death:
      May 10, 1999
    2. Place of Death:
      Key West, Florida

Read an Excerpt

Sick

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more -- that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue --
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke --
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is -- what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is . . .Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"
From WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein © 1974 by Shel Silverstein. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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First Chapter

Where the Sidewalk Ends 30th Anniversary Special Edition
Poems and Drawings

Invitation

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 ...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in! 

Where the Sidewalk Ends 30th Anniversary Special Edition
Poems and Drawings
. Copyright © by Shel Silverstein. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 230 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(178)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 230 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    A classic poetry book for kids

    A classic poetry book for kids. My six year old loves to read it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Poetry in comedy

    Growing up with these poems, it inspired me to write more. Now that my daughter is here, I want her to have the same wonderful imaginative ideas I did.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    gift for beginning reader

    I bought this book for a relative in first grade who had just started to read. I figured that most of the poems would be above her reading level, but they would be fun to listen to and would inspire her to learn to read them herself. It was received with great enthusiasm.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2010

    Where the Sidewalk Ends-A fun walk through life:)

    My kids and I enjoyed reading this book together when they were very young. It was definitely one of their favorites. I purchased this copy as part of a shower present for my niece in hopes she will enjoy many hours of fond memories with her little one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great gift for 6 yr old niece

    My husband and I gave this to our niece for her 6th birthday and weren't sure how she would recieve it. A book, not the coolest gift after all! But she LOVED it and even stopped playing, asking me come sit and read it to her - she was giggling like crazy. What a fun book and one with messages that hold true for all ages!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2007

    review of where the sidewalk ends

    A famous book written by a great American poet, Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein. This is one of the greatest poetry books by this great author. Humorus, entertaining, and silly can be used as great adjectives to describe this book. 'Smart' is one of the most hilarious poems in this book. A boy recieves one dollar from his dad and then he trades the dollar for two quarters because the boy figures that 2 is more then 1. It keeps going on until the boy has 5 pennies. This poem is also my favorite poem in the book This would be a text to text because all of Shel's other books have different poems, but it still gives out the humorous expression like it does in all of Shel's funny poetry books. 'Paul Bunyan' is another great poem from this book. Paul was the toughest lumberjack around that had fists as hard as chopping blocks. When he got older he decided to lay down and die to see what trees there were in heaven, but there wasnt any so Paul comes back and decides to go down to the Devil to see if there is trees there. This book would also be a text to self because for me the poem 'The Long Haired Boy' would fit me because i have long hair just like the boy did in the poem, but i can't use my hair to fly away liek the boy in the poem did! 'Hector the Collector' is a poem in the book about a boy named hector who collects old trash like rusted knives and so on. Hector thoguht that his collection was so great that everybody should see it but when the people came, they all called it junk because there wasn't anything good. This book could be a text to world because some people do hilarious things that are described in the book like try to sell their siblings like in the poem, 'For Sale'. If you are bored one day and you want a funny book to read, i'd reccomend that you read Shel Silverstein's book, 'Where the Sidewalk Ends'!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    This book was great!

    This book was great! I think that Shel Silverstein used lots of detail. He has a great imagination and a great sense of humor. His poems are all funny! My favorite poem was My Beard because it was about a guy that has a long beard and never wears any clothes. I recommend for everyone to read this book because the poems were delightful!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    highly recommended for children

    The poetry book Where the Sidewalk Ends was funny and unique. I really liked it because some poems rhymed and it made it sound fantastic. The poem My Beard is about a man with a very long beard. The man uses his beard for many things such as clothes. This is how the man lives his life with his beard. All the funny words made it my favorite poem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2010

    This is one of my kids favorites!

    We always read at bedtime at my house and this is one that my kids reach for over and over. My kids really enjoy all of Shel Silverstein's books, It seems like they really like the format of the shorts poems. The also like the Random House Kids Book of Poetry and Just For You, A Collection of Story Poems to Finish However You Want. Maybe the short format makes them feel like they are getting more story time. It seems like it keeps them more engaged.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    A great book of poems-

    This book is so great. I remember it from my childhood and have read it to my children. What a talent Shel Silversteen was and how I enjoy his fun poems. Poems about Swinging from your knees on a flying trapeeze and HugO war, one of my favorites is Lazy Jane and The Boa Constrictor! The tree house is a good one too and I actually put together a book of these poems when my sister got married because it reminded me of growing up. If you have children (or if not) you will be entertained by these poems! Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Where the sidewalk ends.

    My kids absolutely love being read to and this book is no exception. My husband regularly reads this book to our children and I love how silly the stories are. Its a great introduction of poem writing and the pictures keep them entertained. My son has recently picked up the habit of picking his nose and there's a story about that in there as well! Let's just say he doesn't do that anymore, because he's afraid a snail will bite his nail off! Lol. We enjoy this book very much and hope to read more books that are just as entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    A Classic, An Absolute Must-Have

    My husband and have been very glad to share this favorite book of our childhoods with our children now. To be honest I'm not sure what's special about this edition as opposed to the one we grew up with. All we know is it has the same great writing and illustrations we always loved. So far it is a little too advanced for our 2-year-old, but our 4-year-old is really into it! If you're not familiar, what's really compelling about these poems for the kids are, I believe, their irreverence and their sense of exaggeration. If you're uncomfortable with your kid reading anything even mildly subversive this book might put you off. But it captures the imagination of even a 4-year-old and appeals to the child's sense of humour. What better way to teach that "reading is cool," and it doesn't have to be about motorized vehicles or heroes/superheroes (or, for girls, I guess princesses, etc. -- I have boys). Objects and characters whose actions originate in everyday life can also inspire creativity, humour, and wonder.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Great for reading together with your kids!

    My 4 year old son and I love to read this book together before bed at night. We have had a lot of laughs at the silly stories and he really looks forward to our time together before bedtime. A great book for kids of all ages!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2010

    \o/

    My son loves all these poems. He gets such a kick out of the silliness, but also loves the stories they tell.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2004

    childhood is the poem of life &poem is the childhood of the world.

    childhood is beautiful ,but it's too short.we always reflect our beautiful & pure feelings in poems & more of these feelings is connected to our childhood that is the best period of the life.shel silverstein is who writes about children & the child who exists in everyone.so persons with diferent ages can connect to his poems.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    Wicked Sweet!!

    This is the type of book you don't forget! This book is pretty good. They're many funny poems in this book. Some may not make sense, but that's the funny part. I would definately reccommend this book, and other books by Shel Silverstein.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2014

    Delightful book I received as a gift.

    Delightful book I received as a gift.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2014

    The book, Where the Sidewalk Ends, has many poems written by She

    The book, Where the Sidewalk Ends, has many poems written by Shel Silverstein. All the poems are well
    written and are very cute! The poem ,“The Snowman”, reminds me of Olaf from the movie Frozen because
    Olaf is a snowman who wants to see summer like the snowman in the poem wanting to July. Also, the poem
     “Love” is adorable, it’s about kids who were supposed to spell the word “love” and only the child who had
     the letter “V” showed up. My absolute favorite poem is “Invitation”, its a poem the describes me, I’m a dreamer,
    a wisher, and a magic-bean buyer, it’s the perfect poem for me! I love this book and anyone else who reads it,
     will love it to!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Where The Sidewalk Ends is a poetry collection by Shel Silverste

    Where The Sidewalk Ends is a poetry collection by Shel Silverstein. I really like the book because of the drawings and the poems.
    The poems in the books are remarkably entertaining. I also really enjoy the picture that go along with the poems.
    The pictures that are drawn to go with the poems really represent what it is about. It seems that the pictures are actually drawn with
    pencil and copied into the book. The pictures and poems are both really funny and some are very interesting too. 
    Shel Silverstein is my all time favorite poetry writer. Even though I read pretty many poetry book, his books are my favorite and
    his is my favorite poetry author. I have about five of his book. My favorite thing about his books is the pictures.
    They are always really funny and connect very well with the poem. I love his poems so much, they are hilarious. His poetry books are
    my favorite. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Shel Silverstein is the best poetry writer!  He is such a imagin

    Shel Silverstein is the best poetry writer!  He is such a imaginative writer and very creative too!His poems are such great
    pieces of work.  My favorite poem he wrote is "Invitation", it is my favorite poem because it just stands out to me more than
     all the other poems.  His poems can be read for anyone, it doesn't matter if you don't like poetry.  I love Shel Silverstein's 
    poems so much and I highly recommend them to everyone person!  

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