Friday 26 April 2013

Guest Post by children's poetry blogger Sylvia Vardell "Blast from the Poetry Past:1974"

Blast from the Poetry Past: 1974

Shel Silverstein published his first of several irreverent works, 'Where the Sidewalk Ends' in 1974. It would become the bestselling children’s poetry book ever. (There's also a CD of selected poems performed by Shel himself and a 30th anniversary edition with additional poems.) When I taught sixth grade (back in 1976!), this was THE ONE book I always said I would want to have with me if I were stranded on a desert island with my students!

This same year, scholar Ann Terry conducted a touchstone study of the poetry preferences of elementary school students finding a predilection for rhyme, narrative, and humor. Her study is still cited as the baseline for where to start in sharing poetry with children.

Contemporary Connections
Even though he passed away, Silverstein’s poetry continues with this posthumous collection:

Silverstein, Shel. 2011. 'Every Thing On It'. New York: HarperCollins.

And for more humor and outrageousness, check out Katz, Katz, and Katz:

Image credit:
Katz, Alan. 2008. Oops. McElderry.
Katz, Alan. 2011. Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking. Simon & Schuster.
Katz, Bobbi. 2001. A Rumpus of Rhymes:  A Book of Noisy Poems.  Dutton.
Katz, Bobbi. 2004. Pocket Poems. Dutton.
Katz, Bobbi. 2009. More Pocket Poems. Dutton.
Katz, Bobbi. 2009. The Monsterologist; A Memoir in Rhyme. Sterling.
Katz, Susan. 2002. Mrs. Brown on Exhibit: And Other Museum Poems. Simon & Schuster.
Katz, Susan. 2004. A Revolutionary Field Trip: Poems of Colonial America.  Simon & Schuster.
Katz, Susan. 2007. Oh, Theodore! Guinea Pig Poems.  Clarion.
Katz, Susan. 2011. The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub: Poems About U.S. Presidents.

What’s up with those funny Katzes?!

A huge thank you to Sylvia for letting us use this post from her blog as a guest post on ours. Sylvia has a range of posts at looking at poetry from the 19th Century to the present day - great reading, we recommend you go over and take a look yourself! 

You can find out more about Shel Silverstein here.

You can read a selection of Shel Silverstein's poetry here - 'Whatif' being a favourite of ours!  

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