« To me, freedom entitles you to do something, not to not do something. » — Shel Silverstein
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re likely to be aware of the warm place in our flinty hearts that we reserve for the wonderfully subversive and multi-talented Shel Silverstein! If not, check out Shel Silverstein: Without Borders or Take Ten With Shel Silverstein and you’ll get our drift.
This time, we turn our attention to Shel’s wildly successful illustrated poetry for kids (of all ages). Our first three selections hail from 1974’s Where the Sidewalk Ends.
The following trio come from 1981’s A Light in the Attic. A bit of controversy eventually ensued:
« Attempts have been made to ban the book from some libraries in the United States, parents claiming that the poem “How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes” encourages messiness and disobedience. The poem “Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony” resulted in criticism for describing the death of a little girl whose parents refuse to buy her a pony. This resulted in the book being banned by the Fruitland Park Elementary School in Lake County, Florida. The decision, however, was later reversed by an advisory committee of parents and teachers. » Ah, good old reliable Florida. [ source ]
Here’s a couple from 1996’s Falling Up:
And finally, this one’s from the posthumously published Every Thing On It (2011).
Thanks for everything, dear Mr. Silverstein! You’re an unceasing source of inspiration and wonder.