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Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings…

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings (1974)

by Shel Silverstein

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As a young reader, I also enjoyed Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. Each poem and illustration were so simple, but it really interesting and engaging. One of my favorite poems is called “The Acrobats.” The rhythm of the language is short; for instance, “I’ll swing/by my ankles/she’ll cling/ to your knees.” The short and clear language helps the reader visualize the text in his or her own way. Also, the rhyming words cater to the young audience to help them read new vocabulary. As a child, I really enjoyed the black and white illustrations. It allowed me to visualize the color of the characters myself. It promotes imagination and creativity by giving the reader the opportunity to interpret each poem individually. The main message of this book is to promote imagination and creativity by giving the reader the chance to determine the meaning behind the text and illustrations. ( )
  ShakelaWilliams | May 9, 2015 |
Very great book that students will remember. Everyone remembers reading Shel Silverstein books for a reason. Very engaging!
  kes030 | Apr 30, 2015 |
Summary: This book is a compilation of many different poems. It's great that Shel Silverstein can make up his own names for characters and he lets his imagination run wild while writing these poems. There are so many poems in here that I don't think kids could get tired of. Shel Silverstein is a great writer and I would recommend this book, along with any of his other books, to teachers of young children.

Personal Reaction: I love this book as well as all of the other Shel Silverstein books that I've read. I would have to say that The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends are my top two favorite Silverstein books.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1) We could write our own poems and make up characters to go in them
2) We could use literacy skills to compare different types of poems
  Bretny | Apr 29, 2015 |
This book is a fantastic collection of poems written by Shel Silverstein, one of my favorites! Overall, I would theme this collection as “letting your imagination run wild”. Almost all of the poems in this book seem to be told through a child’s wild imagination from haunted houses to unicorns. I like this book very much for many reasons. For one thing, the simplicity of the poems and the drawings allow the reader to focus on the words and the use of their imagination without filling your mind with overdrawn images. For example, in the poem, Instructions, which tells about an armadillo being bathed. All you see is the inked drawing of an armadillo with its head tucked out of view. There is no bath or expression, so the reader is able to form their own mental image using their imagination. Another reason that I love this book is the made up names that Silverstein gives some of the characters. For example, he creates characters such as The Yipiyuk, The Bloath, and The Flying Festoon. Again, it expresses imagination and fantasy. Finally, I love the scattered sentimental poems that are tucked away in between the humorous ones. My favorite is No Difference, which is a poem about everyone being the same and not letting your outside appearances or you status define you and that we are all made equally. The last stanza reads…
So maybe the way
To make everything right
Is for God to just reach out
And turn off the light! ( )
  KristyPratt | Apr 21, 2015 |
In my opinion, this is a great book that should be used as an introduction for poetry for children in the classrooms. The language is descriptive and nonsensical that keeps children engaged. The author writes poems using lines such as "the Glurpy Slurpy Skakagrall- That's standing right behind you." Lines such as this are fun for children to read and help practice their phonetic skills, while also keeping them entertained. Aside from the nonsensical words, the writing is very well paced and organized in a way that children can easily keep up with the rhyming words and begin to start reading in a specific rhythm. Although many of the characters in this books are made up, children can easily relate to the characters from characters in their own imaginations being brought to life in a story. This story is organized as a collection of poems, and because of this, the reader can start reading in the middle of the book, and not be to lost as to what is happening in the story. However, the story does do a good job of presenting a series of events in each and every poem that is presented. The illustrations are in black and white, however, they are very engaging and go along well with the poems in their simplicity. If there were anymore colors or details in the pictures I feel that it would be distracting for the reader. This book has many different big ideas, because each poem addresses a different idea, such as the poem "tell me" that discusses the importance of telling the truth to others. Each poem can be analyzed to have its own big idea. ( )
  agassa1 | Apr 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 343 (next | show all)
There's some nice, lively stuff in here, good for reading aloud on a sleety weekend afternoon. Just don't make it the only book of verse on the children's shelves.
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For Ursula..
First words
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!

I will not play at tug o’ war.

I’d rather play at hug o’ war,

Where everyone hugs

Instead of tugs,

Where everyone giggles

And rolls on the rug,

Where everyone kisses,

And everyone grins,

And everyone cuddles,

And everyone wins.
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in Hebrew
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Book description
I think these are great poems that stand the length of time. What really stands out about Shel Silverstein is that his work is not just for children. His work has a place in probably 3rd grade on up. They are silly and funny which make children really want to listen. This is good poetry to start introducing this type of literature to children. The deeper meaning of these poems can also be discussed analyzed by older children.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060256672, Hardcover)

Shel Silverstein shook the staid world of children's poetry in 1974 with the publication of this collection, and things haven't been the same since. More than four and a half million copies of Where the Sidewalk Ends have been sold, making it the bestselling children's poetry book ever. With this and his other poetry collections (A Light in the Attic and Falling Up), Silverstein reveals his genius for reaching kids with silly words and simple pen-and-ink drawings. What child can resist a poem called "Dancing Pants" or "The Dirtiest Man in the World"? Each of the 130 poems is funny in a different way, or touching ... or both. Some approach naughtiness or are a bit disgusting to squeamish grown-ups, but that's exactly what kids like best about Silverstein's work. Jim Trelease, author of The New Read-Aloud Handbook, calls this book "without question, the best-loved collection of poetry for children." (Ages 4 to 10)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:22 -0400)

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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.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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