Writer Spotlight - Shel Silverstein

Today is Shel Silverstein's birthday - it would have been his 79th. He is the author and poet of many of the beloved child stories and poems we know and remember fondly: Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974), Light in the Attic (1981), Falling Up (1996), The Giving Tree (1964), The Missing Piece (1976)... the list goes on. To say that he work was prized is an understatement: A Light in the Attic alone won 9+ awards, and remained on the NYT bestseller list for over two years.

But Shel Silverstein was in every sense of the word a Renaissance man: singer, songwriter, poet, children's author, cartoonist. He studied music and composition briefly, and his songwriting credits include the soundtrack to A Boy Named Sue, various songs for Johnny Cash, and several hits for Loretta Lynn and the Irish Rovers.

He first started drawing cartoons for the Pacific Stars and Stripes as a GI in Japan during the Korean War. His work was later featured regularly in Playboy Magazine, and connections to a friend in children's publishing led to his first children's book, The Giving Tree. The rest, as they say, is history.

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