96: “Draw a Crazy Picture, Write a Nutty Poem” – Shel Silverstein

If you’re a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a magic bean buyer, or you just hate doing dishes and taking the garbage out, you’ll surely find something to relate to in our episode on celebrated author, illustrator, poet, and all-around Renaissance Man Shel Silverstein.

Though WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS was first published in 1974, long before we were even born, Silverstein’s groundbreaking poetry collection was a staple in classrooms, on library shelves, and at bedtime throughout our childhoods, along with later volumes A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC and FALLING UP.

Award-winning author Elissa Brent Weissman joins us for a look at how writing for young readers has changed in the decades since we were young readers ourselves. Then we discuss Uncle Shelby’s salacious origins (far outside the realm of children’s fiction) and have a heated debate about what his massively popular children’s book THE GIVING TREE is really about. Finally, we dive back into Silverstein’s poetry to share which pieces still strike a chord with us.

Revisit Hungry Kid Island, get reacquainted with Ridiculous Rose, and fire up the Homework Machine one last time, because we’ve got some flax golden tales to spin in the latest episode of When We Were Young — the only podcast that 10 out of 10 tree stumps agree makes them happy.

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