Tag: shel silverstein

Celebrate Shel Silverstein’s Birthday!

Shel Silverstein is possibly one of the most famous children’s authors in literature, famed thanks to being the author of the world renowned The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends.

 

 

A musician and poet in addition to being a children’s author, Silverstein established himself as a composer in Chicago where he was born. He wrote some notable songs you may have heard of, including A Boy Named Sue (which was popularized by Johnny Cash) and One’s on the Way for Loretta Lynn. Silverstein began his career by enlisting in the army in 1950 and served in both Korea and Japan. He became a cartoonist for the Stars & Stripes, learning to draw for the magazine.

 

Image via Encyclopedia Britannica

 

Afterwards, he continued his work as an illustrator and found acclaim when he began drawing for Playboy magazine. He doodled short cartoons for the magazine, his work appearing in every issue from 1957 to the mid 70s, where he found great popularity with the readership. While working for Playboy, he began exploring other areas of his imagination, writing songs, poems, along with self-publishing his own original cartoons. He also recorded his first album during this period, in 1959, which was entitled Hairy Jazz.

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

In 1963, Shel Silverstein was approached by Ursula Nordstrom, who convinced him to try and write material for children. He did so on short notice, producing The Lion Who Shot Back, A Giraffe and a Halfand The Giving Tree in rapid succession. The third title became Silverstein’s most popular work, as its themes were ambiguous in intent and left an open question of what it meant, which made publishers initially balk. Although criticized by some for a bleak or hash worldview, The Giving Tree was nonetheless translated into 30 languages and has been a mainstay of the best children’s books of all time.

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

Shel Silverstein went onto write two more children’s books in the 1970s, Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the AtticHe passed in 1999, right at the turn of the millennium. His legacy will live on for producing some of the most thoughtful children’s books of all time and showcasing that children’s literature can be truly thought provoking while also being fun to read.

Go on and introduce your own kids to his work to celebrate his birthday!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Scholastic

Seven Sensational Shel Silverstein Sayings

September 25th is Shel Silverstein’s birthday! To celebrate that beloved American poet known for books like The Giving Tree and A Light in the Attic we’ve put together a few of Silverstein’s best quotes.

 

  1. When the light turns green, you go. When the light turns red, you stop. But what do you do when the light turns blue with orange and lavender spots?

  2. Draw a crazy picture,

    Write a nutty poem,

    Sing a mumble-gumble song,

    Whistle through your comb.

    Do a loony-goony dance

    ‘Cross the kitchen floor,

    Put something silly in the world

    That ain’t been there before.

  3. 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.

  4. If you are a dreamer come in

    If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar

    A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer

    If youre a pretender com sit by my fire

    For we have some flax golden tales to spin

    Come in!

    Come in!

  5. How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.

  6. Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird

    And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.

    If you’re a bird, be an early early bird–

    But if you’re a worm, sleep late.

  7. Although I cannot see your face

    As you flip these poems awhile,

    Somewhere from some far-off place

    I hear you laughing–and I smile.

     

 

Featured image via Huffington Post

 

The Deepest Children’s Book Guaranteed to Make You Emotional

Though children’s books can be simple in context, the messages they leave behind are often times quite powerful. When we read them as children, they usually have no deeper meaning to us, because at that stage in our life our emotions have not blossomed. There are a few books, however, that resonate so deeply as we take a step into adulthood. In fact, the sheer truth that lies within them can prove to be quite depressing. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is a pure example.

 

Image Via Medium

The book follows a female apple tree and a boy, who develop a relationship with each other. The tree is very “giving” and the boy evolves from a naive kid who merely wants to play, into a “taking” teenager, man, then elderly man.

 

the stages of life

Image Via VIPA

 

Through each stage of the boy’s life, he takes more and more from the tree to support his life, from her branches, to her apples, and finally her trunk. Throughout each stage she remains happy, despite losing so much, because she is sacrificing for the happiness of the boy.

 

 

This story is the embodiment of unconditional love. The tree was happy without her leaves, without her branches and even without her trunk. It did not matter what the boy did, as long as she could still give and make him happy, she would remain happy. His selfishness did not affect her, she was only made happy by her ability to provide him what he wanted or needed. Like a parent, the tree is happy to help in any way she can because she always sees him as her kid, or her “boy”.

 

Grandparents and children

Image Via New York Post

 

I actually believe that this story is more suitable for adults, who need to be reminded of greed and selfishness. It teaches us not to take anything for granted, and to be aware of everyone’s worth. It is a beautiful book that you absolutely need to revisit.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Desiring God

Shel Silverstein

10 Shel Silverstein Quotes for When You’re at the Sidewalk’s End

Nothing says nostalgia and adolescence quite like the poetic verses, stories, and black-and-white sketches of Shel Silverstein. Somewhere in my old childhood room, with memories of after-school imagination and Mead notebooks of every color, I have all my favorite elementary school books stowed away. Up in the top of an old closet are books like Where The Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, A Light in the Attic and more. And although it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read them again, their lines have stayed with me for a while.

 

Silverstein won countless awards for his poetry. Even the little characters he created came from a child’s dream—somewhere in the technicolor world inside their heads. My sister gave his books to me and now I want to give his words to you. Imagination is evergreen. Here are some Shel Silverstein quotes to remind you of the worlds inside your mind.

 

1. 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.

 


 

2. There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
‘I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.’
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you — just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.

 


 

3. My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white. My eyes are greyish blueish green, but I’m told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, but its silver when its wet, and all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.

 


 

4. Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I’ve had to make myself.

 


 

5. The bridge will only take you halfway there, to those mysterious lands you long to see. Through gypsy camps and swirling Arab fair, and moonlit woods where unicorns run free. So come and walk awhile with me and share the twisting trails and wondrous worlds I’ve known. But this bridge will only take you halfway there. The last few steps you have to take alone.

 


 

6. All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ In The Sun,
Talkin’ ‘Bout The Things
They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done…
But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All Ran Away And Hid
From One Little Did.

 


 

7. And he didn’t really know where he was going, but he did know he was going somewhere, because you really have to go somewhere, don’t you?

 


 

8. Although I cannot see your face
As you flip these poems awhile,
Somewhere from some far-off place
I hear you laughing–and I smile.

 


 

9. It’s amazing the difference
A bit of sky can make.

 


 

10. There are no happy endings, endings are sad-so let’s have a happy beginning and a happy middle.

 

 

via GIPHY

 

Feature Image Via Bustle

James Franco, Giving Tree

James Franco Will Direct & Star in a Shel Silverstein Biopic!

Coming off the success of The Disaster Artist, James Franco will be starring in and directing a Shel Silverstein biopic. The movie is based on Lisa Rogak’s biography A Boy Named Shel, which looks at the big picture of Silverstein’s wild life.

 

Franco’s had a big year between The Disaster Artist (which will likely score an Oscar nod or two) and his acting and directing work on HBO’s, The Deuce. Like Franco, Silverstein was kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Not only did he write children’s literature (most famously The Giving Tree), but he also penned hit songs and worked on scripts with David Mamet. Silverstein passed away in 1999 at the age of 68, but he lived a full life. A full enough life, anyway, to merit a biopic.

 

Giving Tree

Image Via NYC Children’s Theater

 

Biopics on authors (e.g. Howl, Kill Your Darlings, Rebel in the Rye) can sometimes be a little stuffy and grim. Hopefully Franco can bring some levity to the material. After all, it’s a movie about Shel Silverstein. It has to be funny, right? Plus, Franco’s more than proved his comedy bona fides between Pineapple Express, The Disaster Artist, and Freaks and Geeks.

 

Franco’s got a pretty busy schedule in the next few years, so no sign of when A Boy Named Shel will come out. It might not be for a while, but keep it in mind when thinking about what you have to look forward to.

 

Feature Images Via Us Weekly and ABC