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Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings (1974)

by Shel Silverstein

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,643600238 (4.34)90
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.
  1. 80
    A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein (gilberts, KTIversen1)
    KTIversen1: A Light In the Attic was written and illustrated by the same brilliant poet/artist, Shel Silverstein. So how could you possibly go wrong?
  2. 00
    The Bridge Across The River by Shepherd Thorleif Halvorsen (KTIversen1)
    KTIversen1: The poems in The Bridge Across The River are possibly the best comparisons to those in Where The Sidewalk Ends. There is, however, two distinct differences between them. While Shel Silverstein's poetry was not specifically written for children, the poems in The Bridge Across The River were. And The Bridge Across The River contains not pictures, only poetry.… (more)
  3. 00
    Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Pre-eminent children's poets in their respective countries.

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» See also 90 mentions

English (596)  German (1)  All languages (597)
Showing 1-5 of 596 (next | show all)
So lucky me I got the 30th anniversary edition from my library and my version had 12 new poems included. So there were actually a lot more pages in my version, I just didn't feel like switching editions (what can I say, I am lazy).

I don't know what else to say besides I loved it.

Some poems resonated with me more than others, but all in all this was a wonderful collection of poems.

I have never read this collection before now which is surprising because my parents were huge book people. I had all of the Disney stories in book form and Grimm's Fairy Tales, Greek myths, etc. I have plans on buying this collection and giving a copy to each of my nieces and nephews for Christmas this year (along with the other stuff they are getting) and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

I decided to make this review different and share my favorite three poems.

My dad gave me one dollar bill
'Cause I'm his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
'Cause two is more than one!

And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes—I guess he didn't know
That three is more than two!

Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just 'cause he can't see
He gave me four nickels for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!

And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!

And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head—
Too proud of me to speak!

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
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 your 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.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
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!"

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rest from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know,
The place where the sidewalk ends. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I really liked this book because of the wide range of poems. Each poem is different but they are all engaging. There are simple illustrations to go along with each poem which makes it easier for the reader to understand what the poem is trying to say. This is a good book to introduce poetry to students and to have them read to fall in love with poems and how to write them. Shel Silverstein has other poetry books and they are all a lot of fun to read. This book pushes readers out of their comfort zone and forces them to think creatively. The poems range in size and length which helps to teach readers that there are multiple ways poetry can be presented. I think the main idea behind this book is to show that poetry can be equally as entertaining as traditional chapter books. ( )
1 vote cerrig1 | May 11, 2020 |
I have always loved poetry, something about the rhymes, and the way the story flows has always mesmerized me. I always make time each day in my classroom to read a poem at the end of our day. I think my students enjoy it as much as I do, and I feel like its a great closure to our time together. I have always enjoyed Shell Silverstein and his writings. Many different poems in this book I can recite word for word without even looking at the words. ( )
1 vote sbahan | Apr 29, 2020 |
Admittedly, I read some of Silverstein’s other works over the years (i.e. The Giving Tree and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O), but have no memory of ever reading this one. I specifically chose this book since it is seen as arguably Silverstein’s most controversial work. Being a sucker for controversy, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. All in all, I would say it was overblown. Even though I could never see a poem like “Dreadful” being written today because it concerns eating children, never did I feel like the poems were ever cruel or mean-spirited. Personally, my favorites ended up being: “Smart,” “True Story,” “Hector The Collector,” “Lester,” “Paul Bunyan,” and “The Little Blue Engine.” ( )
1 vote TNAEWWF123 | Apr 27, 2020 |
Read these aloud to my kids. Some are weird, some gross, some funny, some serious. My kids enjoyed them and the illustrations. They rated it 4 or 5 stars, respectively. ( )
  kaciereads | Apr 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 596 (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.
“Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child/ Listen to the DON’TS/ Listen to the SHOULDN’TS/ The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS/ Listen to the NEVER HAVES/ Then listen close to me —/ Anything can happen, child/ ANYTHING can be.”
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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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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