Wednesday, 7 October 2015

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS BY SHEL SILVERSTEIN




On our recent trip to Port Stephens, school boy asked to pack Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. This brought a smile to my face because it was a big sign of approval on his part that he wanted to take it away with us.

I bought the book a little while ago from Berkelouw Books - but have a feeling that I might have spied it on Instagram at some point. I have no personal memories of it, but remember others talking fondly about it. And given that it's been in print since 1974 that has to speak something for its universal appeal.

When he was first given the book, school boy wasn't that fussed about it. But a little later that day he turned it over and started to read a few of the poems. They appealed and when it was time to take a a piece of poetry into school a week or so later, he took the book. He later told me that his school teacher was impressed with it, and read many poems to the class.

It was a few more weeks before our trip, and while he had dabbled in it, he hadn't read it consistently. That's what made his choice to pack it in his suitcase all the more interesting. While we were away, each evening - and any chance we got - he wanted to read the book. And we read all of it - from start to finish - over three nights.

The poems are funny, silly and clever. The author has illustrated many of them too - with a similar playful nature. Writing this review, I've learnt that there's also an audio recording of the book by Shel Silverstein that won a Grammy in 1984. That's good news as I've been trying to find fun audio programs to listen to on long car journeys. (Recommendations welcome.)

images the indigo crew

 

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