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5 Best Shel Silverstein Books (2024)

Best Shel Silverstein Books ReviewBio

Silverstein was an American author who lived from 1930 to 1999 and was best known for his amazing cartoons, actually popular and hit songs and super interesting children’s books.

Young Talent

He has mentioned multiple times that he started writing at a very young age, non-professionally of course, just doodling away, drawing everything he could imagine and adding an adorable story to it.

Best Shel Silverstein Books

Own Style

He says that it’s a good thing that he didn’t have anybody to copy as he just didn’t know about any of the other popular authors that were doing the same thing he turned out to do professionally. Thanks to that, he made his own style of writing and drawing that is unique and nothing like anything else. His writing style uses some slight profanity and cool slang here and there, but it’s nothing to get serious over.


On top of being a famous author, Shel has actually done quite well in the music industry as he has witnessed a number of his songs achieve places on top hit charts and so on. Overall, Shel has had great success in his fields with having won two Grammy Awards and being nominated for both the Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award.

Where the Sidewalk Ends


Hilarious Poetry

This is one of his many books that contain some hilarious poetry content. This specific one is a collection of some of the funniest poetry pieces from Shel that has been adored by hundreds of thousands of readers.

The book is filled with some really funny stuff that can make anyone who reads it go wild with their imagination as Shel introduces us to some kooky and funny characters like a boy who turns into a literal TV set, a girl who eats a whale, a Unicorn, a mystical creature called Bloath and many more. If you are new to the world of poetry, this is a good place to start.

Amazing Illustrations

I bet you can’t wait to hear the stories behind these characters as Shel has done an amazing job of illustrating them. The book takes place in a land where everything goes. Shoes fly, crocodiles go to the dentist, residents plant gardens in which diamonds can grow, a place where you give your shadow baths, and much more kooky and crazy stuff is waiting for the lucky readers.

Very Enjoyable

Most of Silverstein’s books deserve the best place in lists like this one for the best books by Shel Silverstein as he does an amazing job capturing the writing style that every kid and parent will enjoy reading aloud. This great collection of poems is set to be among the best poetry books for children that keep wanting more and more amazing stories like the ones in it.

The Giving Tree


Boy and a Tree

The Giving Tree is a heartwarming story that will make sure children want to hear it over and over again. It tells the tale of a boy and a tree who cared about each other very much. They were together almost every day, enjoying each other’s company, the boy would eat the tree’s delicious apples, swing on the branches and just have a great time together constantly.

Naturally, time passed and the boy just kept growing, eventually, he visited the tree less and less, even when he came it wasn’t to play with it, he wanted to make money and the tree, just wanting to make him happy and to feel good, gave him all the apples to sell.

Time Passes

As time passed, the boy would come to visit again, but again, it was not to play like the tree hoped, he wanted to build a house, so the tree gave him its branches just so he could feel happy because when he felt happy, so did the tree.

Much time had passed, he comes again, wishing to build a boat this time, the tree gives him his trunk and ends up being reduced to only a stomp. Still, the tree was happy because he made the boy happy. In the end, he visits one last time, hoping to get something else from the tree.

Just a Rest

It seemed like the tree couldn’t offer anything else, but the boy was an old man this time and all he wanted was a place to sit down and rest. Luckily, the tree was now a stomp and gave him again, exactly what he wanted.

It’s kind of a sad story for the tree if you ask me, but it’s definitely a fun one to read to your children and make them get to know both the tree and the boy in this fun and interesting children’s book.

A Light in the Attic


Crazy Adventures

Have a look at another one of Shel’s wonderful poems that are filled with some crazy adventures, even crazier and funny characters, and drawings to blow your mind. A Light in the Attic is another collection of poems by Silverstein that introduces children to another batch of kooky characters such as a babysitter who is a bit gullible and is convinced that her job requires her to actually sit on the baby.

A funny walrus that is wearing braces on his teeth, a boy who is so selfish that he prays that if he dies his toys would all shatter in tiny pieces so that no one else can have them and play with them, a man with an actually wavy head who thought he only had wavy hear, a polar bear who lives in the fridge, and others.

Vivid Imagination

They are all a part of Shel’s interesting imagination and he makes sure to include them in some funny stories and adventures along the way. You can be sure that every single page will definitely make you and your kids laugh thanks to the kooky things these characters find themselves doing all the time.

Amazing Work

The poems are filled with funny and predictable twists that are just enough to make sure a child is more than interested in what happens next. Overall, the book is definitely something to make your kids laugh and have a great time with you and convince you why it is a part of the best books by Shel Silverstein list.

Falling Up


More Funny Poems

Yup, we have another one! Similar to Where the Sidewalk Ends, this collection of more funny poems with great drawings is on a mission to bring out your children’s imagination and make them laugh for days.

A question comes to mind at this point. How in the world does Shel come up with all of these amazing, unique, and unforgettable characters that are so interesting to the kids? I guess it might be because he has been doing this for a very long time and has gotten pretty good at it.

Memorable Characters

Anyway, the book is filled with 144 poems that describe some fun adventures with all of these memorable characters such as a kid who creates a secret club where adults are not allowed, a man who drinks so many fizzy drinks that he becomes an actual human balloon and floats away, a bunch of actual furniture characters who get destroyed by beating up each other, now that’s something a kid doesn’t see every day.

Have a Blast!

All of these characters and places such as a very strange restaurant, a box where a funny boy lives in, a nose garden, and many more wonderful places where children can just let their imagination go wild will make sure that you and your kid have a blast while reading these amazing poems by Shel Silverstein.

The Missing Piece


Moral Message

Last in our list about the best books from Shel Silverstein we have a children’s book that also holds a moral message and can teach them a lot about happiness. He introduces his readers to a special little character who is a literal circle who enjoys singing catchy songs, spend time with butterflies, and occasionally enjoys the scent of beautiful and colorful flowers while looking for its missing piece.

Missing Piece

This circle has a goal in this story and that is to find the missing piece as it believes that it’s the only thing that can make it happy again. But, a little twist comes when the circle finally finds its missing piece and realizes that it was actually happier doing all of those things when it had a goal to find the missing piece. The story ends as it actually puts the piece somewhere and continues to look for it happily.

Shel has done a wonderful job writing this amazing story for children to show them that they can be perfectly happy the way they are. No one is perfect and we should all be okay with that as happiness comes from within and not from what others think about us.

Plenty More

You can see why these books are a part of this list about the best books from Shel Silverstein as they all have such wonderful stories and memorable characters that every child absolutely loves and every parent is excited to read it to them. He has many other books such as these that are just as good as the ones listed here.

Alissa Wynn

Alissa is an avid reader, blogger, and wannabe writer. (She's a much better cook than a writer actually). Alissa is married, has one human, one feline, and two canine kids. She always looks a mess and never meets a deadline.