Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week: A Light in the Attic

Author: Shel Silverstein
Publisher:  Harpercollins Childrens Books ( first published October 7th 1981)

Last night while I lay thinking here
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
And pranced and partied all night long And sang their same old Whatif song:

Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?...

Here in the attic of Shel Silverstein you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.

From the creator of the beloved poetry collections "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and "Falling Up", here is another wondrous book of poems and drawings.

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, one of the first things I bought for her was the entire Shel Silverstein collection in hardcover.  I loved these books as a child.  I can still remember my mother reading them to me before bed.  I have never forgotten them and couldn't wait to share them with my kids. Mr. Silverstein had quite an imagination and has created a wonderful collection of funny and memorable poems.  The one above in the synopsis is just a taste.  Along with the poems, he has sprinkled illustrations throughout the book that only help to fuel the child's imagination.  One of my favorites is "Backward Bill".  My kids love "Something Missing". What kid wouldn't love a poem about a man who forgets to put on his pants?

This was one of the most frequently challenged books of the 90s.  A little research showed that one of the poems, "How Not To Have To Dry The Dishes" was thought by parents to promote disobedience and uncleanliness.  It has also been challenged for supernatural themes and for some of the illustrations.  Read it for yourself and decide.


1 comment:

debbie said...

I loved how not to dry the dishes. This is such a great book. How can people be so shallow as to think a book of children's poems is going to influence whether a child cleans their room? I guess those same people would probably blame a book if their child does something, rather than accept responsibility for their failed parenting skills.