Shel Silverstein

By: Rebecca Davisson

His Central Idea

From 1930-1999, Chicago, Illinois, Shel Silverstein, wrote astonishing childrens books and poems, because he wanted to make kids excited about reading, and he loves to write.

A Summary of His Life

Shel Silverstein was born on September 25, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois, and died on May 10, 1999, in Key West, Florida. In his life he did many things. He was a cartoonist, songwriter, singer, a play writer, and he is most known for being a poet and a children's book author. Shel wrote many books and songs including The Giving tree, Falling Up, A Giraffe In A Half, and The Missing Piece were all books he wrote. He also wrote the following songs: A Boy Named Sue, One's on the Way, and many more. Although he did many things, Shel faced some hardships on his road to success. One major hardship he had was finding a publisher for his books and poems. He had trouble finding a publisher because they thought that his books were too serious and not kid-like. One person that inspired him to keep fighting no matter how hard it got was Ursula Nordstorm.

Similarities of Writing Style

In all of his books the writing style is pretty similar. For instance, all of his books have black and white pictures. Also, they all have stanzas in them which are normally pretty short. Another thing is in Falling Up, and The Giving Tree, both have little to no sentence structure. Lastly, in Falling Up and A Giraffe In A Half, both have rhyming. Those are some similarities of writing style in some of his books.

Similarities of Theme

The theme in most of his books is not to take things that you have for granted. In the book the Giving Tree, the theme is to not take things that you have for granted, because sooner or later they won't be there anymore. In the book Falling Up, the theme in most of the poems is, that life has a plan even if it is unexpected. Lastly, the theme in A Giraffe In A Half is not to take things you have for granted because they are perfect the way they are. Those are the themes of some of his books.


Works Cited A&E Networks Television. Web. 04 Mar. 2015. <>. Academy of American Poets. Web. 03 Mar. 2015. <>.

"Shel Silverstein Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore. Web. 03 Mar. 2015. <>.

"Shel Silverstein." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. Web. 03 Mar. 2015. <>.

Silverstein, Shel. Falling Up: Poems and Drawings. New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1996. Print.

Silverstein, Shel. A Giraffe and a Half. Place of Publication Not Identified: Harper & Row, 1964. Print.

Silverstein, Shel, and Shel Silverstein. The Giving Tree. New York: Harper & Row, 1964. Print.

Weinman, Sarah. "Shel Silverstein Comes Alive in a New Book, 12 Years After His Death." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 20 Sept. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2015. <>.