Important because: mostly, because his unique writing and illustrating style created unforgettable stories loved by millions of people in over 30 languages.
Important to me because: before being homeschooled in the third grade, I went to a public school, like most kids. One of my most vivid memories was leafing through Where the Sidewalk Ends, one of Silverstein's collections of poetry. And I love The Giving Tree so much, it's already on my bookshelf to read to my kids...when I have them.
Shel Silverstein (1930-1999) started out as a cartoon illustrator, but at the urging of a friend, began also writing and illustrating children's books and poetry. His cartoons appeared in multiple outlets before he acquired a position with Playboy, traveling the world for his column. Over the years, he would write and compose songs, create screenplays, and write and illustrate adult and children books and poetry.
If you're interested, a new book has just come out, Every Thing On It, with never-before-published cartoons and poems.
Here's a taste of his adult cartoons:
|"That's funny — I always wondered how |
you of the west could carry so many things with your hands."