Classic goofy poetry, Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is amusing to read, whether you’re reading it to your children or you simply never gave up your copy. This is the sort of book that if not purchased, children will check out of the library over and over again just to read their favorite poems and laugh at the loopy illustrations by Silverstein. Many adults will grin and remember this book and claim is as one of their all-time favorite children’s books.
Poems in Where the Sidewalk Ends can be as short as a few lines with the rest of the pages taken up by massive hippos or they can be long with only a single person standing in the corner. Some poems are goofy with no aim of any kind, while others tell stories, as in “Unicorn” which explains how the unicorn became extinct. Every poem rhymes in a wonderful, absurd way that makes them perfect for reading aloud. Certain poems can be a mouthful, which makes Where the Sidewalk Ends a fun challenge.
The illustrations are all black and white and can range from cute and tender to absolutely ridiculous. They make for the perfect match to the equally crazy poems, such as “Recipe for a Hippopotamus Sandwich,” “Sky Seasoning,” “Poem on the Neck of a Running Giraffe,” and “Dancing Pants.” The occasional wordiness of the poems can make children feel more grown up as they read, while the words and poems themselves still delight and leave adults remembering how it feels to be a kid.