The Timeless Appeal of Shel Silverstein

Topics: Shel Silverstein, Children's literature, Childhood Pages: 3 (1089 words) Published: February 25, 2012
What does it mean to fall up? Where, exactly, does the sidewalk end? If you have ever read these collections by Shel Silverstein, you probably have enough imagination to come up with an answer. Silverstein created outlandish worlds in all of his stories and poems, worlds that required imagination to comprehend, which every child has. The worlds Silverstein created piqued the interest of millions of young children and caused them to love his stories. Now, it doesn't necessarily take much to entertain a child and make a childrens author famous. However, it takes so much more to make one memorable. Just about any artist can think of a short story to entertain a child for a short time; it takes someone with something more to write a story that will stay with a child throughout their life. Shel Silverstein accomplished this through his quirky, playful style that has appealed to all ages and made him one of America's most memorable literary artists of the 20th century. Silverstein was born on September 25, 1930, to parents Nathan and Helen Silverstein, in a Chicago community. Though his name is associated with childrens poems and stories, there are so very many sides of Silverstein. He never even considered writing anything aimed at children until he was 33, 13 years after his first work was published. A little known fact about Silverstein is that he was accomplished in many arts; cartooning, writing, singing/songwriting, playwright and playing guitar. As a child, Shel received no formal instruction in writing or drawing, and was therefore free to create his own unique style. The first work Shel ever published was actually a cartoon, not a written piece. When he was drafted into the Korean War, Silverstein worked as a cartoonist and reporter for the pacific edition of the Stars and Stripes. After the war, he became a hot dog vendor in Chicago and there met Hugh Hefner and got a job as a cartoonist and traveling reporter for Hefner's “gentleman's magazine”, Playboy....
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