You love him. You hate him. But either way this classic is still here.
I realized as I was reading A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein, I do not think I have actually read a Silverstein book cover to cover. Maybe The Giving Tree, but I could not say for sure. I do know that I have read poems from/had poems read from a few books. And, in fact two that I remember from here, (though mostly the idea of them and not the actual words as the last time I read one was probably fourth grade and the other was over eight years ago when my mother did some calligraphy for a friend on another adapting it to fit her friends name), but never a full poetry collection
Therefore, instead of Superbowl Sunday, I took the copy of A Light in the Attic I had found and went to town. And other places as well. I meet bossy little girls, camels with interesting fashion sense, backwards people, a lot of bare behinds and more. I related to some poems and others I was not sure the point. Yes, everything I remember about Silverstein was there. The offbeat nonsense, the humor, the funky and the weird. However, I do not remember some of the icky factors. Like the poem about being so hot the person of the story takes off their skin and sits around in their skeleton (but kept the skin on their head). And one about a person who has their unzipped head and skin stolen. And another poem about a head on a platter upset that they were cooked incorrectly.
The art is basic, borderline not good simplistic, and fits the poems tone. Not usually overcrowded there are certain images that get busy and/or crowded due to the subject, but things are pretty formulated. Rhyming text in quick poems (though a few do go into two pages) also keeps everything short if not sweet. One poem is several pages as it is about being eaten by a creature, and we “watch” the action happening from outside the animal, and in a not-so-subtle euphemism for being pooped out, plopped out again.
Shel Silverstein was a product of the (assuming) 1960s, but for certain the 1970’s and early 1980’s. You might not find yourself in politically correct land, but you will find yourself someplace. You just might have trouble getting out again.