Falling Up, by Shel Silverstein

My Copy: 9780060248024 (image from fanpop.com)

Shel Silverstein is the man. He’s an amazing, fun writer, illustrator, and has loads of imagination to spare. It’s early to be thinking about Christmas shopping, but when it comes down to it, Shel Silverstein is the one author I’d give to a kid no matter how old they are.

I started that tradition with my pseudo-sister and her kiddos (until they got impatient and started getting the rest of the books themselves). True, the poems are a bit complicated for those who don’t have the best grasp of the English language yet, but I always thought of this as something older siblings can read to younger ones and have fun, or parents to kids til they get those siblings they ordered.

Falling Up doesn’t disappoint. The poetry style is familiar to Shel’s other works, so it’s like cracking open an old friend and picking up the conversation where you left off. Several great poems are “Noise Day,” “Long-Leg Lou & Short-Leg Sue,” “No Grown-Ups,” “Morgan’s Curse,” and so many others. I love them all-the short ones and the story ones and everything in between. I smile just looking at the cover, eager to dive in again.

Falling Up was the first Shel Silverstein book in my house. It’s certainly not the last.

If you’re having a crappy day, it doesn’t matter how old you are, I think Falling Up can put a smile on the face, or at least a few of the poems definitely will. They’re fun to read aloud to kids or even to yourself (especially if it’s a giggly day–then try reading some with a straight face without screwing up).

I recommend Shel Silverstein to everybody in the world. I will definitely recommend Falling Up, too–I can’t help it. Falling Up shows that even after several books of children’s poems, Shel still had the stuff. Kids will always enjoy Shel and the fun he conjures up with words.

And if you think about writing poetry, it’s good for helping you stretch your own limits with words, sounds, imagery. I think Shel is a good reminder to keep it simple when you can.

Happy reading and happy holidays. Be good and keep this one in mind if you’ve got a kiddo in mind that doesn’t like to read–even kids I know that hate to read will read Shel Silverstein!

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