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Book Reviews

Oct 13 , 2011
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‘Every Thing On It’

Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Harriet Leitch

By Shel Silverstein




208 pp

The wonderful poetic world of Shel Silverstein is once again among us. The family of Silverstein — author of such classic titles as “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “A Light in the Attic” and “Falling Up” — has released a book full of unpublished poetry and drawings (Silverstein died in 1999). These poems are filled with playful rhymes and creative drawings that demonstrate Silverstein’s ability to think inside a child’s head. The 145 poems included in the book range from four-liners to two pages of verse. Both lengths grab your imagination and urge you on to the next page, sometimes for the end of a poem, sometimes for the next thought piece.

Highlights include a poem on parenting — “Before the Race” — which makes a good point with gentle humor and the play on words in “Turning Into.” The ways in which he structures poems about food can either make your mouth water (“Italian Food”) or induce a decided case of paranoia (“Food?”). Whichever one you read, it is an enjoyable experience.

While no longer in possession of his preceding books, the memories of Silverstein’s work came rushing back upon reading “Every Thing On It.” Picking out favorites and reading them over and over consumed many a reading session. I can’t wait to share them with the next generation. CV

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