Just like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, the work of Shel Silverstein was shared by a wonderful teacher in my early school years at Greenleaf, a small, now-defunct school in Flagstaff, Arizona in the mid-70s. At the time, I only knew of two books, A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends. Both of them amused and engaged me, and I am sure I was not alone.
When Emily was an infant, I asked for the entire Shel Silverstein collection for Christmas. I had run across Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book as an adult and loved it, and I was intent on building our home library for this new little person in our lives. Shel Silverstein was a must have.
And Emily has loved so much of his writing. There were the endless requests for Who Wants a Cheap Rhinocerous? and The Giving Tree. The latter was strictly her dad’s domain after I tried twice, weeping copiously, to read that damned thing.
There have been forays into Lafcadio: The Lion Who Shot Back and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O.
Another recent favorite has been Runny Babbit, which keeps us all amused trying to re-structure the mixed up letters and words.
But above all, the favorites that remain are the same favorites that I had at her age and older…
The Sick poem and Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony – out of A Light in the Attic.
I love sharing these books with Emily. They remind me of my childhood, and my joy in the written word, and they provide an additional opportunity to cuddle. I can’t help but say yes, when Emily asks, “Mama, will you read about Abigail and the pony to me again?”
This Christmas one of our ‘shared presents’ was the newest Silverstein book, Every Thing On It.
Shel Silverstein wrote many beautiful, and often funny, stories and poems in his lifetime. I have found them to be a perfect introduction to reading poetry to my girls – and sharing many cuddling moments with both.
If you haven’t read any of Shel Silverstein’s books, borrow one from the library or buy one today!