Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein

I've never been a big poetry reader. In fact, I don't think it would be far from the truth to say that I've actively avoided it throughout my life (and been annoyed whenever I couldn't). But I listened to a NPR story and I've heard everyone and their mom go on and on about Shel Silverstein, so when it finally came into the library I thought I would give it a try. Take it home and read it with my son and just see how it goes.

Well, dear readers, it went really great.

The poems are really funny and accessible to kids. They are just the right amount of gross and subversive. They are great to read aloud and have a wonderful rhythm. And his pictures really draw kids into the text.

Some favorites of my son were Bottle Opener (p.40), where the jovial fellow has lost all his teeth opening bottles with them. The Toilet Troll (p.191), about a troll who lives in your toilet and is just waiting for you to sit down. On more than one day I've woken up to see my son looking at me saying, "let's talk about the troll in the toilet." And he isn't freaked out like I was when I saw Gremlins and never wanted to use the toilet again. He is pure boy and wants to talk about why the troll is in the toilet and just exactly what the troll is waiting for. Potty humor at its best. He thoroughly enjoys Rude Rudy Reese (p. 148-149) for the same reason. What boy could resist someone falling into poo up to his knees? It would take a stronger kid than my son, that's for sure.

His all-time favorite is Tic-Tac-Toe (p. 110).

Let's play tic-tack-toe.
I'll take the X's
You take the --OH--
Sticking a tack in someone's toe
Is not the way to play, you know.

Fits of giggles and "again!" is what I hear when we read that one. So I'm sold. I've already requested Where the Sidewalk Ends and we're going to work our way through the entire Silverstein canon. I think I could get into this poetry thing.

Book = Library Copy


joanna said...

Wait, did you just confess to having never read Shel Silverstein? Is this a Canadian thing?

Patti said...

Never before! I feel like it was around when I was a kid, but I never picked it up?

joanna said...

Well, I envy you reading him the first time. Do yourself a favor and find his recordings of his poems. I think you can even find some online. He's just so much fun and his voice will stay with you when you read. Sam got this book for Christmas and loves to reread all his books.