Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings

by Shel Silverstein

Other authorsShel Silverstein (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2014



Local notes

811 Sil





HarperCollins (2014), Edition: Anniversary, 192 pages


A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author's own drawings.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

192 p.; 6.75 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member farfromkansas
Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends is a collection of poetry that embraces silliness and escapism in all its rapturous glory. Whether describing unicorns, festoons, dancing pants, or cross-continental garbage, Silverstein brings joy and ridiculousness to every page. Silverstein’s focus
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is more on wordplay and rhyme than coherence: while the verse is clever and imaginative in its storytelling, it tends to favor feeling over any specific message or theme. For a young child reading these poems, however, theme will not be a primary concern; rather, kids will simply love these improbable stories of Captain Hook, crocodiles, and double-tail dogs. Like Dr. Seuss before him, Silverstein seems uninhibited by reality, and is capable of envisioning fantastic worlds full of fancy and fun.

My first exposure to Shel Silverstein came in the form of a song: “A Boy Named Sue,” popularized by the late Johnny Cash. In that song, a male narrator with a girl’s name searches far and wide for his father, only to discover that his ridicule-worthy name was actually a gift from his dad. While “A Boy Named Sue” is a bit darker and more mature than the pieces in Where the Sidewalk Ends, the template of silly narratives remains the same: the impossible becomes merely improbable, and nothing is beyond the reaches of imagination.

My favorite piece in the collection is “Hug O’ War,” which describes a game in which “everyone cuddles / And everyone wins.” Where the Sidewalk Ends has a similar effect on the reader: one is left with the feeling of a warm embrace from an old friend, long after the last page has been turned. This is a wonderful collection of poetry, a book that will engage children with its outlandish creativity and imagination. Even though the book was initially published 36 years ago, it seems as timeless as a child’s chalk drawing on the sidewalk.

Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems & Drawings of Shel Silverstein. New York: Harper and Row, 1974. Print.
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LibraryThing member mlboliver
Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends" is a collection a poems and drawings for children that they can relate to. I will focus on the poem "Sick." This particular poem is about a little girl, Peggy Ann McKay, who is sick and talks herself into needing to stay home from school due to her
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illness, which includes many odd aliments ranging from a dry throat to chicken pocks. But an amazing healing process begins when she realizes it is Saturday. Suddenly, little Peggy Ann feels so much better that she runs outside to play.

This has been one of my favorite poems since I was a child. I would read this poem over and over again laughing out loud. I totally related to Peggy Ann. Sometimes we wake up in the morning and want to stay in bed. One of the reasons I adore Silverstein's poetry is because of his ability to relate to children. Peggy Ann's character is that of many children; they're hilarious, theatrical, and smart. I read this book of poetry to my ten year old son and we laugh and laugh some more. We also enjoy his illustrations in the collection.

One could use this poem as a tool to launch a discussion about the difference between a lie and over exaggerating. For instance, the teacher could help the children understand the difference between the two by giving examples. Furthermore, because this is such a fun poem, maybe the teacher could ask the children to write their own funny poem.
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LibraryThing member jshillingford
I was delighted to find this anniversary edition with a few new poems. Great poetry. Great stories. I can still envision my Mother and I reading "Sarah Cynthia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out" together, or "How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes." Great to read to or with children. Everyone should
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own a copy of this book!
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LibraryThing member lleighton05
Genre: These poems contain characteristics of poetry such as rhyme, rhythm, and metaphors. Each line flows with the next and many of them contain great emotion and feelings. They help children to relate to them and give them topics and subjects to think about and debate.
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There are illustrations on some of the pages with the poetry and add to the imagery. They help further the text by having brief drawings. However, some of them do not have much detail which allows the child to imagine the rest of the detail. Similarly, they help to create the rest of the poem and add emotion to them.
Media: pen/ink
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LibraryThing member MaggieLizz
This poetry is for sure a classic. I remember reading it back in elementary and when I go observe in schools now, they are still taking poems from it. One teacher had some students act out the poem while she was reading it aloud. The students really seemed to enjoy that. I had anothe opportunity
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where they would have "seasonal poetry times". The teacher would set up the tables kind of like a coffee shop, but instead they had juice boxes and cookies and after a poem was read the students would snap their fingers. These two ideas would be awesome extension ideas, especially to get the kids involved in poetry.
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LibraryThing member Kaylinn_Hall
Where The Sidewalk Ends is an awesome poetry book by Shel Silverstein. This book contains hilarious poems and wonderful line drawings. This book is great for adults as well as children.

I remember reading this book as a child. I remember going to the library and hoping to get this book, but someone
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would always beat me to it. I would always get excited when I would finally be the first one to get the book, and I always seemed to find a better poem each time I read it. One of my favorite poems is Smart and Magic Eraser.

I think that a great extension would be for the students to create a poem of their own, or they could also choose their favorite and illustrate a picture about that poem.
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LibraryThing member sharese
Shel Silverstein's poetry was something I loved to hear as a child sitting in my library at school. I loved it when our librarian, Mr. Flowers, would get out the big book and read from it to us. The poems are for children of all ages and the pictures that accompany some of them are as
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silly as the poems. The subject matter for the poems differs greatly from one poem to the next but all appeal to children and will make them laugh or snort at some point.
An amazing book that just got better when Shel released the CD version where he reads the poems aloud. My youngest was raised on that CD and when I read it out loud to him or my classroom I find myself using the same inflections and tone as Mr. Silverstien. I would call him a poetic genius for the ages. I can't imagine a generation not knowing his poetry.
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LibraryThing member amberntaylor
These are the funniest poems you’ll ever read. They are full of fantasy and comedy. When you open this book you’ll hear about Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too flying in a shoe, how Sarah Cynthia Silvia would not take the garbage out and Skinny Mcguinn being so terrible thin.

I am absolutely
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in love with these poems. I could read them all day. I remember when I was younger these were the only poems I use to like to read. They are funny and very easy to understand.

You could have the children pair up and choose a poem. Have one read the poem and the other act out the silly actions. These are great short poems to write real big on paper and hang in the classroom.
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LibraryThing member paraespanol
I love Shel Silverstein. He is always so great. I never get sick of reading his poems. I find something new and exciting every time!!!!
LibraryThing member renee.sutter
This was one of the books that when I was a kid I checked out from the library many times. The whimsical poetry is a great way to get kids excited about reading and writing poetry. I would use thins in the classroom to talk about different ways to write poetry and how it can have different
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structures and shape.
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LibraryThing member psjones
Wonderful modern poetry that is hilarious.
LibraryThing member ascott68
This collection of poems by the brilliant Shel Silverstein captivates readers of all ages, and they will forget they're actually reading poetry. From a little girl who wouldn't take out the garbage to eating noodles these poems take every day situations to the extreme and even adds a little shock
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value for the listeners.

This book is one of my favorites and I can't wait to introduce students to this collections of literary "wackiness".

In the classroom this would be the perfect vehicle for breaking the students into groups- each with a different poem - and after reading it, acting it out for the class.
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LibraryThing member YasminAlder
The poems of this book are very simple and geared mostly towards children. There are poems about selling little sisters, pretending to be sick to miss school, magical erasers, made up creatures, and a girl who are a whale.
I have always been a fan of Shel Silverstein, so being able to read this book
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for this class made me pretty darn excited. I would most definitely read this book to any classroom of students of any age. I love the subjects Silverstein writes about and I love the inventive creativeness in all of his poems.
After reading this book to a class, I would ask them which poem was their favorite. Then each student could take some time to sit down and make up something wacky and crazy, anything from being friends with a weird animal that doesn't exist to trying to get rid of a weird animal that doesn't exist. I think it would be a lot of fun.
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LibraryThing member jcraft
Where the Sidewalk Ends is another silly poetry book from Shel Silverstein with some of his greatest works.
LibraryThing member readasaurus
Shel Silverstein's masterpiece is the go-to book for poetry in the classroom. Children love the funny, silly characters and surprise endings to the poems. Silverstein's work can be used as examples of rhyme, meter, alliteration, personification, etc. I know a Math teacher that used "One Inch Tall"
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for a unit on proportions and an English teacher who reads "Sick" every flu season. The kids roll on the floor. More than anything, Where the Sidewalk Ends encourages kids--and adults-- to let their imaginations run wild.
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LibraryThing member hippieJ
i have some really good memories from this book. when i was little, my mom gave me her copy for christmas. she got it when she was my age. she read the first poem in it to me and cried from the memories of her dad reading to her every night. create your own memories with this book
LibraryThing member ruthe002
This collection of funny poems will engage young readers and help increase phonemic awareness. A classic book.
LibraryThing member gkuhns
This book of poetry for children emphasizes the imagination of the young. It presents the world as children see it, with all of its fantastical permutations. It allows children to dream the impossible and to reflect on the world as they experience it. As a book of poetry, this work resists easy
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categorization. Most of the characters are unusual, either in appearance or name. They relate their life issues—taking the garbage out, engaging in hug of war—in simple language. The illustrations are black and white line drawings that often emphasize the childish wackiness of the poems. This book exuberantly posits that life is a wild and wonderful experience and should be enjoyed as such. Silverstein's classic should be part of every children's library.
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LibraryThing member rpanek
This is a collection of poetry that is often funny or ridiculous. Most poems in this collection rhyme.
The themes in this book are widespread. Some of them include friendship, school, forgetfulness, family feuds, etc. The illustrations are humorous; appealing to children. The characters vary from
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hippos to pirates. The tone is amusing and often makes fun of people.
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LibraryThing member elisajackson
I first read this book when I was in the third grade and was excited when my son who is now in third grade brought it home. This book can go many generations and never lose its appeal or humor.
LibraryThing member vlreed02
This is an anthology of several of Silverstein’s poetry. In one poem, she uses onomatopoeia, which would be a great example to students on writing their own onomatopoeia poems. All the poems in this book vary. Some are free verse some aren't. It is hard to summarize this book, because of its
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diverse styles. “Ickle me pickle me tickle me” is one of my favorite poems in the book, because it uses repetition and is fairly predictable on the parts where the phrase “Ickle me pickle me tickle me” is used.

I like this book and it’s fun to read aloud. This book would be a nice read for my service learning component. I will probably read some of these poems the next time I read at a school.

This book could be a great way to get students more interested in poetry and wanting to write their own. Silverstein is able to catch the imagination of children while still writing value poems. I would read with kids and explain different variations in the poems of this book. Then I would have them find a poem they like in the book and write a poem of that format and then illustrate that poem. Poetry is a good way to keep children creative.
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LibraryThing member AwXomeMan
A collection of poems and short stories.

As a kid I loved Shel Silverstein's works and as an adult I still love them. The poems and short stories are funny and the illustrations add further depth and enjoyment to the experience of reading them.

In the classroom I would use this to show students the
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fun and silly side of poetry and use it to encourage them to write poems of their own.
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LibraryThing member brekimlov
"Where the Sidewalk Ends", by Shel Silverstein is a funny collection of poems about events most children deal with on a daily basis. Some of the poems in the book have pen and ink illustrations.

Who does not love this book? I grew up reading it in school. I think this book is a great tool for third
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and fourth grade teachers to introduce poetry to their classes. The children will be interested and talk about the poetry for a long time.

Silversteins poetry is great for memory and reciting. Have children choose a poem to recite and work with them on different inflections. This is a great way for them to express their creativity. Also, the teacher can have the students break down the poem as a good comprehension exercise.
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LibraryThing member kmacneill
This is a collection of poems and drawings. These poems illustrate the various types of poetry that can be used. This would probably be fun to read aloud. Kids will love the silliness of the poems and pictures. They will also love how they can relate to some of the poems.It would be best used in an
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English lesson to spark an interest in poetry. I would use it to encourage kids to write about whatever they want to. I think I enjoy Shel Silverstein's poems almost as much as kids. Reminder: Don't do an author study on Shel Silverstein.
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LibraryThing member jlowens4
I have always loved these books by Shel Silverstein. As a little girl in elementary school, I can remember our teacher reading us poems out of these books. This book could be used for many different reasons in reading. There are tons of poems in this book that have ryhming schemas. There are
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different types of poems such as; epic, couplet, ballad, and haiku. This book coulld be used for echo reading as well. All in all this book is very entertaining and useful in any teachers classroom.
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(612 ratings; 4.5)
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