Every Thing On It:

Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein (2011)
Every Thing On It: Poems and Drawings

Although beloved poet and artist Shel Silverstein passed away in 1999, his spirit is alive in this most recent and never-previously published collection of poems and drawings. It’s a wonderful companion to his other works--including the groundbreaking Where the Sidewalk Ends--but it stands on its own in quality. Every Thing On It has everything in it: long poems and short; funny, silly, sweet, macabre, fantastical, ironic, wistful, thought-provoking and slightly naughty ones too, accompanied by well-placed drawings that often provide the punch line for the humorous set-up in a poem. The pieces were carefully selected by the prolific poet’s family, based on how good they sounded when read aloud, as well as how they complemented each other. There are a variety of themes, including thoughts about the writing process, social commentary, wordplay, alphabet play, as well as several invitations for readers to be creative. The very first poem, “Years from Now” is an invitation to read and enjoy: “Although I cannot see your face/As you flip these poems awhile/Somewhere in some far-off place/I hear you laughing—and I smile.” The title and cover illustration comes from another poem early in the book, about a kid who makes the mistake of ordering a hot dog with “everything on it.” There’s a parrot, a bee in a bonnet, a wristwatch, a wrench, and more! Other poems feature dirty feet, a man-eating plant, and sneaky letter snake, and a car with legs! Have you been to a spelling bee? What about a yelling bee? Heard of a police department? How about the "please" department? Meet the Rhymey Bird, Transparent Tim, Little Seth with Garlic Breath, Rude Rudy Reese, Burpin’ Ben, and a genie who’s a meanie, too! April is Poetry Month; enjoy it with Every Thing On It!

There’s something in it for any age, but kids ages 8 and up will be old enough to better enjoy the book as a whole. 


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